Bhutan has unique and distinctive culture and tradition. A small kingdom with small population is proud of its diverse culture. To protect the sovereignty of the country, Bhutan feels it is important to preserve the culture and tradition. The uniqueness of the tradition and culture is visible in everyday life of the Bhutanese.
The birth of a child is welcomed without any gender discrimination. The first three days after the birth is considered to be polluted by kaydrip (defilement by birth). Thus outsiders do not visit the child for three days. Visitor pay visit after a purification ritual (Lhabsang) is conducted in the house. The names are generally given by religious person after the child is taken to the temple of local deity.The horoscope of the baby is written based on the Bhutanese calendar. This horoscope details out the time and date of the birth, predicts the future of the child, rituals to be executed at different stages in the life of the child as remedy to possible illness, problems and misfortune.
Festivals in Bhutan take place at different time of the year, in different places. The festival is known to Bhutanese as TSECHU. Tsechu are celebrated for several days ranging from minimum of 3 days – 5 days. One would be able to witness Bhutanese Folk Dances, religious dance, Mask Dances known as ‘Chaam’, and other religious dramas and epics of great known saint of Buddhism. These dances are performed by Monks.
Atsara or clowns, with their expressive masks are an indispensable element in any religious festival. They confront the monks, toss out jokes, and entertain the crowd. Atsara are believed to represent Acharyas (religious masters of India) they are the only people permitted to mock religion in a society where sacred matters are treated with the highest respect. During Tsechu Atsaras are allowed the freedom to express a formulaic challenge within an established framework that does not, however upset the social and religious order.
Most tshechus end with the displaying of a huge applique thangkha (scroll) called Thongdroel. The Thongdroel is unveiled at first light to bring enlightenment to all who view it. Buddhist believe that by simply viewing this Thongdroel, one can be delivered from the cycle of reincarnation. For the Bhutanese, religious festivals offer an opportunity to become immersed in the meaning of their religion and gain merit. It is also occasions for seeing people, and for being seen, for social exchanges, and for flaunting success. People wear their finest clothes and jewelries. Men and women joke and flirt. It is a good-spirited atmosphere for social gatherings.