Bhutanese people really take pride of their rich tradition and culture. The culture is unique and they still preserved in the wake of development. Even in 21st century world, the rich culture and traditions have really blended well with modernization and development. Preserving the age old culture has also been recognized as one of main pillars in fulfilling the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. The tradition is not only reflected in the attires known as Gho and Kira, but in ceremonies such as marriage, Divorce, birth of a child and in promotions, but even in conducting death, construction of houses and journeying to new places or on travels.
Marriages are always low key simple affairs for many Bhutanese. However, keeping with the tradition, local Lams or saints are invited to conduct rituals for lifelong union, good health and prosperity. The wedding is always followed by a good feast where jars of local wine are emptied. In the evenings, Bhutanese dances are performed and there is music and merry making.
Divorce is not a social stigma and divorces are rapidly becoming common in Bhutan. For people living in the cities and towns, with changing life style and work patterns, many married couples do not find time for each other and end up filing for a divorce or through a consensus. The divorced either man or woman, can re marry and continue with their life.
Birth is welcome news or the family members. There is no preference over the sons from the daughters. All are treated equally. Keeping with the tradition, family members, friends and relatives normally pay a visit after the third day of the birth. Till then, the house is believed to be defiled. On the morning of the third day, the local saint conducts a short ritual after which guests are entertained.
Funeral for the departed is conducted as per the tradition. For most Bhutanese, who adhere to Buddhism, the dead is always cremated. Every community would have a cemetery for the purpose. The local Lams conduct the funeral rituals and the remains are thrown into the river. A small amount of the remain is also mixed with earth and small stupas made in honor of the deceased. These stupas are placed in caves and are supposed to bring merit for the dead. Rituals are also conducted till the 21st day after death and then finally on the 49th day. Death anniversaries are also observed.