The Bhutan monarchy was formed in 1907 under the leadership of the First King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk. The King of Bhutan is formally known as the Druk Gyalpo, the Dragon King. Bhutan’s current King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned in 2008. The legacy of the Wangchuck dynasty is one of peace and progress. This includes initiating the drafting of Bhutan’s first Constitution.
Bhutanese architecture consists of Dzong and everyday varieties. Dzongs in Bhutan were built as fortresses have served as religious and administrative centers since the 17th century. Secular lordly houses emerged as a distinct style in the late 19th century during a period of relative peace in Bhutan. Throughout its history, Bhutan has mainly followed the Tibetan tradition of Buddhist architecture.
Bhutan’s culture is very much alive and expressed in everything, including the traditional clothing its people have been wearing for centuries. While machine milled traditional clothing is popular for daily wear, the traditionally woven dress is worn on all formal occasions including working in the office. At birth, marriage, death and promotion gifts of cloth are offered.The woman’s kera is an ankle length dress.
Bhutans unique spirit and identity is also reflected in the arts and crafts, which are all religiously rooted. Three characteristics are typical for Bhutanese art: it has no independent aesthetic function, it is religious and anonymous. Bhutan ‘art of Zorig Chosum’ contains 13 arts and crafts. These vary from paintings and thankas (wall hangings) to sculptures, weaving, paper making, wood carving, carpentry, blacksmithing, swordmaking, boothmaking.
Sports in Bhutan comprise both traditional Bhutanese and modern international games. Archery is the national sport in Bhutan, and competitions are held regularly in most villages.Other traditional Bhutanese sports include khuru, soksom, pundo, and digor. Football is the most popular sport in Bhutan. Bhutanese also play futsal, an indoor variation of football. Cricket has gained popularity in Bhutan.
Bhutan’s colourful festivals definitely will leave a big impression on all visitors. Although they are very joyful and the local alcohol arra is drunk abundantly, all festivals are holy spiritual events and its attendees gain merit for the next life.During the larger festivals Bhutan is very popular with tourists and some of its charm can be lost, so visiting the smaller festivals is advisable.They are colourful affairs with lots of masked dancing and bright costumes.