The festival was started for the first time this year by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division under the Department of Forest and Park Services. The festival took place at Lamperi Botanical Garden near Dochula Pass (3150 m from sea level), about 30 Km from the capital of Thimphu on the way to districts of Punakha and Wangdue. The Lamperi Botanical Garden has over forty-six species of rhododendrons. The local communities of Thimphu and Punakha, including the yak herders, participate in the three day festival to showcase local food, beverages, arts and crafts alongside the rhododendrons in full bloom.
The festival was aimed at enhancing eco-tourism opportunities by promoting and reviving some of the traditional practices to help generate income for the local people. This year the event fell on a weekend, nature club students on field trips, lots of tourists and families from Thimphu and Punakha came to enjoy the peaceful setting of the garden. There was horse riding through short trails in the gardens and boat rides in the lake for children, and a variety of food stall to taste the local cuisine! The festival was very successful in bringing together families and local communities to celebrate the natural beauty and spring blooms!