Culture & Tradition of Bhutan

THE CULTURE & TRADITIONS PREVALENT IN BHUTAN

  • The people of Bhutan are very simplistic. They are regular, peace-loving people who mainly practice agriculture for a living and abide by the philosophies of Buddhism.
  • Before the advent of Guru Rinpoche & the spread of Buddhism, the population of Bhutan followed the religion of Bon. This religion, having originated in Tibet, involves worshipping of the natural forces like the Sun, Moon & the Sky. It also involves animal sacrifices.
  • Presently, a majority of the Buddhist population practices Mahayana Buddhism. Hinduism & Bon exist sparsely as well.
  • The locals harbor a deep amount of respect for the Royal Family.
  • The culture of Bhutan is rich, with Guru Rinpoche being an omnipresent and crucial element in most of their celebrations, folklore, and artworks.
  • The society of Bhutan, unlike its neighbor, does not practice patriarchy.
  • The land is equally divided between the male and female siblings, and both men and women work in the fields.
  • Upon marriage, it is not necessary for the bride to leave her household. The groom can either stay with the bride's family or establish a separate household with his wife.
  • The men wear the traditional "Gho" which are basically cross-breasted robes that stay till the knee. The ensemble is then completed with a belt and trousers.
  • The women wear the "Kira" which again is a cross-breasted ankle length gown. They complete the look with colorful, richly embroidered aprons tied around their waist.
  • The locals wear their traditional dress on an everyday basis, while they carry their domestic errands.
  • Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan, which connotes to "the language of the dzongs", i.e., fortresses, which are common in Bhutan.
  • Other languages include Tshanglakha, Lhotshamkha, Khengkha, Bumthapka, and several more.

BHUTAN'S FAMOUS FESTIVALS

  • Bhutan, being an extremely religion-oriented country, celebrates festivals that have immense religious significance.
  • Tsechu is one such festival dedicated to the patron saint of Bhutan, Guru Padmasambhava. it is generally celebrated to commemorate his birthday, and the entire day is scheduled with exotic performances by artists, locals as well as monks.
  • The masked dances performed by the monks are a treat to the eyes and are said to bring good luck to the onlookers.
  • The highlight of the festival is the unfurling of a giant scroll, which is intricately painted or embroidered with the portrait of Guru Padmasambhava and his manifestations.
  • The Haa Summer Festival highlights the unique nature of the resident tribes in the valley of Haa. The festival highlights are the exotic showcases of traditional cuisines, dance forms, attires and folk songs, various competitions and merry-making.
  • The Black Necked Crane Festival aims at highlighting the need to preserve the natural habitat of these exotic but rare birds.
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