May 17, 2013
In Bhutan, it is typical for a child to remain nameless for several days until the leading lama (Buddhist priest) at the local temple chooses a name for the him/her. Sometimes children are named for the day on which they are born, or a name associated with the local deity from whom the mother and child are given blessings. The child is also given a horoscope according to the Bhutanese calendar, which predicts his future and outlines certain rituals that must be carried out at special points in his life.
For the first three days of birth, only a newborn’s immediate family are allowed to spend time with the baby and mother. Once the baby is three days old, he participates in a purification ritual and extended family and friends are allowed to visit the mother and child and give gifts. Birthdays are not typically celebrated, though some Bhutanese are beginning to adopt this practice.
If you would like to learn more about Bhutan’s customs, culture and cuisine,