Tradition and Culture

The Kingdom of Bhutan has its own rich and unique culture and tradition.

Eating Habits

Traditional Bhutanese eat with the family members with crossed legs sitting on the wooden floor with food first being served to the head of the household. They usually eat their food with hands and short prayer is offered with a small morsel placed on the floor as an offering to the local spirits and deities before eating. But, with the modernization, eating habits have changed following the western style, people nowadays usually eat with cutlery, while sitting in dining table.

Funeral

Long rituals are performed after the death of the person. The 7th, 14th, 21st, and 49th days are considered important after a person’s death and are recognized by erecting prayer flags in the name of the deceased performing specific religious rituals. The rituals vary among the southern Bhutanese and the nomadic Brokpas of northern Bhutan.
Southern Bhutanese bury their dead while the Brokpas carry out “Sky Burials”, a process in which the deceased is placed on a mountaintop to decompose while exposed to the elements or to be eaten vy scavenging animals, especially carrion birds.

Birth

The visitors are not allowed to witness the child and the mother before the short purification ritual which is performed on the 3rd day of the birth and various gifts are offered to the child ranging from dairy products to cloth and money. The naming of the child is entrusted to the head lama (Buddhist priest) of the local temple.

Marriage

Arranged marriages were common in Bhutan before some times and the marriage took place among their relatives, but these practices are now less practiced among the literate masses as most marriages are based on the choice of the individuals.
Marriages in Bhutan are simple, however long rituals are also performed, and choice varies from family to family. The newlywed couples are gifted with traditional offering of scarves along with gifts in form of cash and goods.

Bhutanese Dress:

Bhutan has got the unique and traditional touch on their dresses and garments which have evolved over thousands of years.
Men wear the Gho, a knee-length robe that is tied at the waist by traditional belt known as Kera. Whereas, the women wear Kira, a long, ankle-length dress accompanied by a light outer jacket known as a Tego with an inner layer known as a Wonju.

Festivals:

Bhutan celebrates wide variety of elaborate and colorful religious festivals that are celebrated throughout the country. The most widely known festival in Bhutan is the annual Tshechu, a religious festival. Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals of Bhutan and is celebrated and enjoyed by abundant number of participants and audiences. Tshechus are religious festivals o the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Tshechu(festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan as it feature dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes.