Bhutan is the only country in the world to adopt the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism (Drukpa Kagyue) as its official religion. The Buddhist faith has played and continues to play a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and its people. It permeates all strands of secular life, bringing with it a reverence for the land and its well being. Annual festivals (Tshechus and Dromchoes) are spiritual occasions in each district. They bring together the population and are dedicated to the Guru Rimpochey and other protective deities. Throughout Bhutan, Chortens or stupas (receptacle for offerings) line the roadside commemorating places where Guru Rimpochey or another high Lama may have stopped to meditate. Prayer flags dot the hills, fluttering in the wind. They allow Bhutanese people to maintain constant communication with the heavens.