Traditional Clothing in Bhutan

Bhutanese clothing refers to the clothing of Bhutanese, which is indirectly influenced by Han clothing through Tibetan clothing. In Bhutan's traditional clothing, men's robes are called "gho" and women's clothes are called "kira".



Bhutan Costumes



Men often wear knee-length gowns made of thick cotton or wool. This type of gown is called "Gho". In order to maintain the traditions of Bhutan, the King of Bhutan stipulated that all people must wear traditional clothes when they go to school and work. It is said that in order to lead by example, the king of Bhutan even wore a straight "gho" when exercising.


"Gho" has a short white jacket inside. The sleeves are longer than the outer robe. The sleeves were folded outward, and the white cuffs and robe looked very chic. The sleeve width is moderate and does not hinder work. The waist of the robe is fixed with a belt, and the waist can be filled with many things without knitting pockets.





This half-width sleeve makes Bhutanese men look very free and easy when waving their arms. It also has the effect of lengthening the height visually. The wide waist design can hide the lower abdomen and has a storage function, which is practical and beautiful.


The man's "gho" is a sewn robe. When wearing it, you should drag it to the ground, then pull it to your knees, and tie a hand-woven belt around your waist. The whole outfit should be accompanied by stockings and shoes, or traditional handmade boots.



The "Kira" worn by Bhutanese women includes underwear, robe, belt, long skirt, and pin. The upper body is the same as the male, wearing a narrow and long-sleeved collared underwear. The woman's dress is a long-woven cloth, which is wrapped around the body of the shirt and fastened to the shoulders with silver buttons. Wrap the waist two or three times with a wide belt. Usually a toego (jacket) is worn on the outside of the dress.





The color of the underwear can be freely matched, and there is no need to wear white like men. Since women wear long skirts, they usually wear short boots to match. The straight line of the long skirt matches the short top, which visually elongates the leg lines. Coupled with short boots, Bhutanese women look more slender and have more perfect leg proportions. In addition, the narrow sleeve also has the effect of slimming visually.


When to wear traditional clothing

Bhutanese wear traditional clothing on all formal occasions, including working in the office. Bhutanese wear their best hand-woven "gho" and "kira" for formal occasions, and woven fulling traditional clothing is also a popular daily dress.


In 1989, the Kingdom of Bhutan enacted a strict dress code law, and those who violate the law will be punished heavily. According to legal requirements, Bhutanese men must wear a garment called "Gho", which is a knee-length gown; Bhutanese women must wear a dress called "Kira".  "Kira" is an ankle-length skirt that resembles a sari, and is paired with a light-colored coat called "Toego".




Although the legal requirements are relatively loose now, Western clothing has little effect on most Bhutanese women and their clothing. The vast majority of Bhutanese women still like the traditional "Kira" and are proud of it.


Traditional cloth

The clothing styles of "gho" and "kira" are fixed and unchanging, so the pattern and color matching of the fabric have become the popular focus. Traditional Bhutan woven fabrics are dominated by stripes and checkered patterns. This may be because the stripes and checkered patterns are easier to calculate in the hand-woven environment. Due to the large amount of mechanical weaving from India, women's clothing has more choices of colors, patterns and fabrics.


The annual national textile competition arouses people's interest in traditional clothing, which is also on display in the Textile Museum. Such an annual event encourages weavers to use seasonal colors to design and make textiles, and promotes "gho" and "kira" to become fashionable elements, especially popular clothing for young people.



Bhutan wedding dress

Because Bhutanese believe in Tibetan Buddhism, the newlyweds have to go to the monastery to divination to the lama before getting married. If the eight Characters are inconsistent, they need to ask the monks to pray.



Bhutan Wedding


In order to catch up with the good time, many weddings will choose to be held in the middle of the night. Bhutanese believe that this is the time when people's hearts are purest and suitable for such an important event as a wedding. In matters such as marriage, most Bhutanese families listen to the will of Gods and Buddhas.


In traditional weddings, the bride wears traditional kira and the groom wears gho. The officiant of the wedding is usually a prestigious lama. Guests attending the wedding will wear a white scarf, which represents a warm welcome.


It is said that holding a religious wedding is very sacred and will be blessed by the gods, and rain is more auspicious. Because in Bhutan, rain is a symbol of joy, and people say that it seems that God also blessed the wedding of two people.


In Bhutan, people have a tradition when they get married, which is to paint pictures of male and female genitalia on walls and gates, implying that the new couple will pass on the family line as soon as possible. Male reproductive organs also represent blessings for childbirth and reproductive ability.


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