Bhutan’s traditional Buddhist wedding

Bhutan a Buddhist country in the South Asian region is surrounded on three sides by India. The country also shares its border with China. 

The country has a unique cultural heritage which has its roots in Buddhism. The Bhutanese people have successfully kept its culture and traditions intact until this day. 

Till the 21st century, most of the Bhutanese weddings were arranged by the parents or family of the prospective bride and groom. Earlier, marrying one’s cousins was acceptable according to the tradition. But that custom has been abandoned by the present generation.

There are many customs and ceremonies based on religion. A wedding day is selected by a high Lama based on the birth year of the bride and the groom. 

 The Bhutanese wedding tradition includes presenting the Dha-dhar or the ceremonial arrow. According to tradition, the bride will take the ceremonial arrow to the groom's house or the wedding venue.

When the bride arrives at the temple for the religious wedding ceremony, a kangden or a ceremonial mat will be placed before the bride. She will stand on it and the gifts to be distributed among the bride's family and friends will be placed on the mat. Later the groom will arrive and he will also stand on the ceremonial mat. 

When they are there a Buddhist Lama will perform a ritual called Thrisor to get rid of all evil spirits and protect the bride and groom. 

After the couple enters the venue another ceremony named Marchang will be conducted to appease the local deities.  It is believed that the deities will only bless you if they are pleased. 
Later the couple will be seated at the altar and the religious ceremony will start. It involves many customs like the monks reciting religious texts, exchange of rings, drinking milk and alcohol from the same cup and the bride and groom will present Dhar Nyanga, the symbolic five colored scarves to each other.

Later they will march towards the reception area along with the family friends and the monks. The reception will be grand and will have many traditional cuisines, music and other entertainments. 

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