Bhutanese culture and Buddhist influence go hand-in-hand. The influence of religion is highly visible in every day life and is a major reason for Bhutan’s spiritual and cultural legacy. The hundreds of sacred monasteries, stupas, religious institutions, prayer flags and prayer wheels make Buddhism a faith that nowadays still is very alive and probably always will be in the kingdom. Not only this makes Bhutan a very authentic country; it is also because of the traditional woven garments the people wear, the typical robust yet refined architecture and the splendid cultural festivals which are steeped in Buddhism. All of these combined make Bhutan into a unique cultural setting.
All religious ceremonies and rituals (and there are many!) are regularly performed, with reverence for all of life. All Bhutanese families go on a pilgrimage on auspicious days, offering prayers and butter lamps to the gods of the Himalayas. National and regional festivals coincide with the seasons, happening all year round.
Bhutan might globally be a small country, yet it holds a very strong identity and unity. The rich cultural heritage is strongly promoted by its government. Although modernisation is slowly making its way, generating urban settlements and introducing computers, mobile phones and other Western modernities, most of Bhutans people still live quietly in small remote villages. The predominant way of life are small family farms and Bhutan’s number one occupation is being a farmer.
Sacred animal faced traditional dancer
- National Symbols
Everywhere in the country, you’ll find Bhutan’s mythology expressed in many different ways. Most striking is the name its inhabitants have for the kingdom: Druk Yul, literally meaning ‘land of the thunder dragon’ in Bhutanese mythology.Read more.....
Talk about Bhutan and you talk automatically about Buddhism. This religion is integrated in all aspects of the country, including architecture. Typical is the degree of uniformity: all structures correspond with traditional designs. Read more.....
- Traditional Dress
Bhutan’s culture is very much alive and expressed in everything, including the traditional clothing its people have been wearing for centuries. While machine milled traditional clothing is popular for daily wear, the traditionally woven dress is worn on all formal occasions including working in the office. Read more.....
Bhutans unique spirit and identity is also reflected in the arts and crafts, which are all religiously rooted. Three characteristics are typical for Bhutanese art: it has no independent aesthetic function, it is religious and anonymous. Read more.....
- National Sports
Bhutans absolute # 1 sport is archery. Each village has its' own archery range and every festival knows a high-spirited competition. Archery tournaments happen all through the year on local, inter-village and national level. Read more.....
- Bhutan’s colourful festivals definitely will leave a big impression on all visitors. Although they are very joyful and the local alcohol arra is drunk abundantly, all festivals are holy spiritual events and its attendees gain merit for the next life. Read more.....