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Culture and Festivals

Ancient traditions kept alive through vibrant dance and ceremonies

Bhutan’s cultural heritage has remained almost entirely intact as a result of its virtual isolation. The country’s traditions are steeped in Buddhist practice, and the Bhutanese actively work to ensure the ways of their forefathers are not lost in the global push for modernity.

Bhutanese architecture is distinctive, with the white washed fortified monasteries clinging to rock facades along the valleys. Even new buildings must be designed in a way which is complementary to the Bhutanese aesthetic. You will often see Bhutanese men and women dressed in their traditional costumes, as social status is shown by the texture, colour, and decoration of the garments people wear.
 
The Tshechu is the major monastic festival, which takes place on the 10th day of the lunar month. Each monastery celebrates at a different time of the year, and the Pema Gatshel Tshechu is one of the most elaborate and best attended. By watching the monk’s masked dances, it is said that you will be bestowed with blessings and provided protection against evil influences.