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Bhutanese culture, customs, history and landscape bear the most venerable traces of the influence of Buddhism. Historically, Buddhism was first spread to Bhutan in the 7th century A.D but it was Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594-1651), the founder of the Bhutanese nation, who instituted the Buddhist sangha (monk body) in Bhutan in the 17th century. The Monastic Body plays an important role in the spiritual and cultural lives of the people. Since almost every important occasion in the live of average Bhutanese is invested with religious significance, the monks visit households to perform rites related to diverse events such as birth, marriage, sickness, death, construction of houses, consecration ceremonies, promotion of officials, inaugural ceremony and other day-to-day functions.