National Day of Bhutan, which is celebrated today, marks the coronation of the first Druk Gyalpo of modern Bhutan in 1907. Druk Gyalpo is the official title of the head of state of Bhutan, it is translated from the Dzongkha language as “Dragon King.” It was established to honor Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk for his significant contribution in the reunification of the country. He was unanimously chosen as the hereditary monarch of Bhutan and was crowned on December 17, 1907. He is credited founding the House of Wangchuck, that has ruled Bhutan since its reunification.
The day is celebrated with cultural and various entertainment programs in every dzongkhang. A dzongkhang is an administrative and judicial district. But the main celebrations are held at Changlimithang Stadium in the country’s capital. Traditionally, the celebrations are highlighted by His Majesty’s address to the nation, a procession carrying a statue of Ugyen Wangchuck, and a ceremony where life service awards are conferred on retired civil servants for their distinguished services to the nation.
Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, India in the south, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and Assam in the south. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center. The country is said to have derived its name from the Sanskrit Bhotanta, which means “the end of Tibet,” or the Sanskrit Bhuttan, meaning “highlands.”
Among the interesting facts about Bhutan is that it measures prosperity by gauging its citizens’ happiness levels, not by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Its capital is known for its numerous monasteries and fortresses (or dzongs) and its dramatic topography ranging from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys.
We congratulate the people and government of Bhutan led by His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, on the occasion of its National Day.