Bhutan might globally be a small country, yet it holds a very strong identity and unity. The rich cultural heritage isstrongly promoted by its government.All religious ceremonies and rituals 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 theHimalayas. National and regional festivals coincide with the seasons, happening all year round.
It is the only Mahayana Buddhism Kingdom in the world, with Mahayana(tantric) Buddhism as its official religion. It is practised throughout the entire country by 75% of the inhabitants. Hinduism – closely related to Buddhism, is Bhutan's second religion, practiced by about 25% of the population. Before Buddhism captured the heart of Bhutan, several forms of animistic religions were practiced. Minority groups still practice these traditions and rituals in some parts of the country.
The country's culture is highly influenced by historic Tibetan culture. Even the languages, Dzongkha and Sharchop bear resemblance to Tibetan. Bhutanese monks practice the language chhokey; a historical segment of the Tibetan language fold. Guru Padmasambhava – founder of Himalayan Buddhism is held in great esteem by both the Tibetans and Bhutanese masses.
Grand festivals are celebrated during the spring and autumn seasons which honor the Guru Rimpoche. Beautiful ceremonies are held while the Tsechus continue for five days. Religious places and dances usually witness grand social gatherings. These festivals also provide exceptional Buddhist teaching while the people are dressed in beautiful clothes. By intermingling in the tsechus, one can understand the culture to the utmost extent.