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Religion & culture in Bhutan

buddhism, a fundamental part of Bhutanese culture

Culture in Bhutan...a living past

Bhutan is a unique blend of the old and the new. Here is a country that is slowly opening up its doors to the modern world in a fine balance with its ancient traditions. Bhutan is often described as a unique, deeply spiritual, and mystical kingdom. Religion and faith play a fundamental role and permeates in all aspects of the lives of the people.

Rituals and music

The religious dances, rituals, and folk music form integral parts of all celebrations and social activities. No functions begin without a ritual to seek blessings.

Festivals

The Buddhist festivals or tsechus are one of the prime examples of the living culture of Bhutan that many have come to admire and treasure. The tsechus are festivals in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who first brought Buddhism to Bhutan and its Himalayan neighbors.

Tsechus are held in almost every district attracting hundreds of Bhutanese people in a spirit of festivity, celebration, and deep faith. Held on the tenth day of the Bhutanese month, the festivals last up to five days in which a series of highly stylized masked dance rituals are performed. Bhutanese come dressed in their best for the very special occasion. Tsechus take place throughout the country at different times of the year.

Religion

Bhutan is the only country in the world to retain the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism as its official religion. Historically and to this day, religion plays a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical, and sociological development of Bhutan and its people. Evident in all aspects of daily life, its religion promotes reverence for the land, its people and animals, and promotes well-being for everyone.

Religion is visually evident by the countless stupas, chortens, and prayer flags which color the valleys, mountainsides, and passes of Bhutan.

Some information provided by and property of the Department of Tourism, Royal Government of Bhutan

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