History and Culture of Bhutan

National cuisine

According to topschoolsintheusa, Bhutanese cuisine is very spicy. Chili peppers and other spices are used in excess, including garlic, Chinese pepper, ginger, etc. Mostly, dishes are prepared from vegetables, cheese, meat and poultry. Organized tourists visiting the country are fed Chinese, Indian and continental cuisine, but for those who want to experiment, Bhutanese cuisine is also offered. It is believed that preparing Bhutanese dishes is very simple. Properly cooked food turns out very tasty and even refined.

It is almost always served with a large bowl of rice and one or more dishes called tshoem, the equivalent of Indian curry.

Rice is boiled or steamed. It can be white polished – “ja chum” (ja chum), as well as pink. This is a unique variety of Bhutanese rice called “eue chum” (eue chum). It is slightly heavier than regular rice and has a nutty flavor.

Almost all ingredients are boiled in water with the addition of oil.

Taste differences are determined by the ingredients. It can be simple beans and potatoes. And there may be delicacies like orchids, fern leaves and reeds. Depending on the season, they can be fresh or dried.

A characteristic feature of Bhutanese cuisine is the widespread use of chili peppers, which can be fresh green, dried red, and powdered.
Not only that, Bhutanese love to eat their main course with raw chili peppers that they dip in salt. Also, the main dish can be seasoned with “esay” (esay), an analogue of the seasoning used in Indian cuisine. Esei tastes like Mexican salsa.

Undoubtedly, Bhutanese and the most beloved dish of Bhutanese is Ema Datshi. This is a very spicy mixture of cheese and chili. They say that if you’ve been to Bhutan and haven’t tried Emma Datshi, you haven’t been there.

A bit of history

Although civilization on the territory of Bhutan, judging by archaeological research, existed as early as 2000 BC, there is very little information about the history of this country – at the beginning of the 19th century, the state library burned here, which stored many historical documents. The first Europeans to visit the country were the Portuguese (in 1626), and contact at the state level was first established by the British at the end of the 18th century. In 1910, an agreement was concluded under which Bhutan transferred the right to conduct its foreign policy to Great Britain in exchange for British non-interference in domestic politics and doubling the annual compensation that had previously been paid for some of the state’s territorial losses. On August 8, 1949, after the independence of India, Bhutan also became independent, however, due to its extreme isolation,

Holidays and festivals in Bhutan

No. Holiday Place Dates
one Traditional offering day. All over Bhutan. New Year for Eastern Bhutan. mid-January
2 Losar (New Year) All over Bhutan. Bhutanese New Year. end of February
3 PunakhaDromche (festival) Punakha. Western Bhutan. mid-February
4 Gom Kora (festival) Trashigang. Eastern Bhutan. early March
5 Chhukha Shechu (festival) Chhukha. Western Bhutan. early March
6 Punakha Shechu (festival) Punakha. Western Bhutan. early March
7 Chorten Kora (festival) Trashiyangtze. Eastern Bhutan. end of February
eight Paro Shechu (festival) Paro. Western Bhutan. mid April
nine Shabdrung Kuchoe. Anniversary of the birth of Shabdrung (one of the most revered Bhutanese saints). All over Bhutan. mid April
ten Ura Shechu (festival) Bumthang. Central Bhutan. beginning of May
eleven Birthday of the third king. All over Bhutan. beginning of May
12 Day of the attainment of Mahaparanirvana by the Buddha. All over Bhutan. the end of May
thirteen Anniversary of the accession to the throne of the third king. All over Bhutan. the beginning of June
fourteen Birthday of Guru Rimpoche, the founder of Buddhism in Bhutan. All over Bhutan. mid June
fifteen Nimalung Shechu (festival). Bumthang. Central Bhutan. early July
sixteen Kurje Shechu (festival). Bumthang. Central Bhutan. early July
17 Buddha’s first sermon All over Bhutan. early July
eighteen Anniversary of the death of the third king. All over Bhutan. mid July
nineteen Holy day of rain All over Bhutan. end of September
20 Thimphu Drubchen (festival) Thimphu. Western Bhutan. early October
21 Wangdi Shechu (festival). Wangdiphodrang. Western Bhutan. early October
22 Tamshingpala Choepa (festival). Bumthang. Western Bhutan. early October
23 Thimphu Shechu (festival) Thimphu. Western Bhutan. early October
24 Tangbi Mani (festival). Bumthang. Central Bhutan. early October
25 Jambai Lhakhang Drup Bumthang. Central Bhutan. the beginning of November
26 Praker Shechu Bumthang. Central Bhutan. the beginning of November
27 Birthday of His Majesty the King. All over Bhutan. mid November
28 Day of the advent of the Buddha. All over Bhutan. end of November
29 Mongar Shechu (festival) Mongar. Eastern Bhutan. end of November
thirty Pema Gazel Shechu (festival) Pemagatsel. Eastern Bhutan. end of November
31 Trashigang Shechu (festival) Trashigang. Eastern Bhutan. end of November
32 Nalakhar Shechu (festival) Bumthang. Central Bhutan. early december
33 State Day of Bhutan All over Bhutan. mid December
35 Trongsa Shechu (festival) Trongs. Central Bhutan. end of december
36 Lhuntse Shechu (festival) Lhuntse. Eastern Bhutan end of december

What souvenirs to bring from Bhutan?

Bhutanese profess Buddhist culture, and the canons of making souvenirs are the same everywhere. Most souvenirs in Bhutan are made of bronze – fish, key holders, figurines, etc. You can buy rice paper as the main souvenir from Bhutan, but in Nepal it is 3 times cheaper. The main pride of Bhutanese is stamps with Bhutanese symbols of various colors and sizes. Clothing lovers are advised to buy a national outfit. For men and women, their own version, which is expensive and created by hand within six months.


Tourism ranks third in the economy of Bhutan. Its history began in 1974, when the government of Bhutan, in order to increase the income of the population, as well as to show the unique culture and traditions of the country to the outside world, opened it to foreigners. Before that, it was possible to enter the country only at the personal invitation of the king or queen.
In 1974, 287 tourists visited Bhutan. Since then, the number of tourists visiting the country annually has risen sharply from 2,850 in 1992 to 7,158 in 1999. By the end of the 1980s, tourism was generating more than $2 million in annual income for the country.

Although open to foreigners, the government recognizes that tourists can influence Bhutan’s unique and virtually untouched landscapes and culture. Therefore, it initially limited tourism activity, giving preference to tourism of the highest quality. Since 1991, the Bhutan Tourism Corporation has been operating, a quasi-autonomous and self-financed organization that implements government policy in the field of tourism. The Bhutanese government, however, privatized the corporation in October 1991, facilitating private investment and activity. As a result, more than 75 licensed tourism companies currently operate in the country.

Every tourist must pay a rather high fee for each day of their stay in the country. The number of tourists entering the country is not limited and is determined by the number of places in hotels.

The most important centers of tourism are the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, the city of Paro in the west of the country, not far from India. The main tourist attraction of the country is the Takxang Lhakhang Monastery.

Culture of Bhutan

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