Festival Dates: 11th November (every year)
Black-necked Crane festival is an annual event which is celebrated on 11th November at Gangtey Goenpa (Monastery). The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird which make Phobjikha their winter home.
The festival is organized by the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local group composed of elected local leaders (with a strong female component), Government representatives, business community representatives, monks and Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) representative. The festival was first initiated by the RSPN in 1998 to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community; provide an avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people, crane dances and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by the school children. The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till late afternoon.