Historical 112th National Day

Email

National Day (Gyalyong Duechen) in Bhutan is the most significant national event that is widely celebrated throughout the country on the 17th of December. The date marks the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first Druk Gyalpo (Monarch) of Bhutan. The significant event dates to 17th December 1907, when Gongsar Wangchuk was crowned the first king over a united Bhutan in the congregation hall of Punakha Dzong. This established the Wangchuck Dynasty which continues to rule Bhutan.

(Source: Facebook/KingJigmeKhesar)

 

National Day (Gyalyong Duechen) in Bhutan is the most significant national event that is widely celebrated throughout the country on the 17th of December. The date marks the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first Druk Gyalpo (Monarch) of Bhutan. The significant event dates to 17th December 1907, when Gongsar Wangchuk was crowned the first king over a united Bhutan in the congregation hall of Punakha Dzong. This established the Wangchuck Dynasty which continues to rule Bhutan.

According to the information in the Kuensel archives, the National Day was celebrated for the first time on 17 December 1971, sixty-four years after King Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned. Since then, the celebrations continued to become more elaborate and festive and the day was attributed with great national significance.

The commemoration of this day serves to remind us of the profound sacrifices of our forefathers, who worked tirelessly for the wellbeing of our country and people. It is because of our forefathers that we can enjoy peace, prosperity and unity. The day allows us to express our gratitude to those who came before us for handing over a strong, sovereign nation to the future generations. It is a day on which our generation reaffirms our pledge to shoulder our important responsibility to serve the nation to the best of our abilities.

This year, more than 20 thousand people celebrated National Day with His Majesty the King, His Majesty Drukgyal Zhipa, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Their Majesties The Queen Mothers and the Members of the Royal Family celebrated the 112th National Day in Thimphu.

The ceremony started with the statue first king taking part in a parade towards national stadium followed by their majesties as the prodigious crowd who gathered for the event since midnight anticipated to get the rare glance of our royals especially the young crown prince Jigme Namgyal. For the record, a family arrived at the stadium around 11:00 P.M on the eve to be part of the historical event.

Bhutanese speculators were found hassling to the stadium pass midnight and by 4 A.M, the stadium was fully occupied. The security personnel had to close the gate around 4:00 A.M of the 17th December and most had to go back home and watch the Live Telecast of the event. For the first time in the history of Bhutan, the largest number of Bhutanese People watched the sunrise together on the morning of National Day.

This year the National Day was a remarkable day for several reasons. There was a flag-raising ceremony, a grand parade whereby different section of Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Bhutan Police, Desuups, Commandos, Pazaps and other personnel consisted of 2000 heads marching at the Stadium. The National Flag was also displayed by the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Service followed by cultural electrifying performances.

 

However, the Highlight of the day was

  1. Bhutanese people cried tears of joy when His Majesty announced that Their Majesties are expecting their second child in spring, 2020.
  2. His Majesty announced the "Gyalsuung" or the National Service Program for the youth of Bhutan to be instituted in 2022. A year-long training for those attaining the age of 18.

 

The one-year training will include a 3 months military-style training, and a 9-month program in areas like agriculture sciences, entrepreneurship, computers and coding, health sciences, etc.

The National Day celebration also included 3 days' tour to Bhutanese Gastronomy and Culinary experience at the Traditional Food Village at the Coronation Park organized by the Tronga Poenlop Thuendrel Club. On the evening of National Day, the biggest light festival was hosted in Changlimithang where thousands of spectators watched the light show in Bhutan for the first time.

This day, Bhutanese shall Rejoice!

 

 

1. Foremost concerns

a. Economic Growth: Our neighbours, India and China, are experiencing unprecedented economic growth, propelled by technological advances in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Automation, Big Data, Blockchain, Quantum Computers, and FinTech - Digital Currencies, Digital Wallets, Digital Banking.

The world is changing rapidly. We cannot afford to avoid what we don’t yet understand, and hope for the best. Such an attitude will cost us our national objective of self reliance.

We have to create economic opportunities for the next generation. It’s time to recalibrate ourselves to succeed in the fast-paced world. The government, lawmakers, the private sector, the people, and experts in various fields must work collectively to chart out a clear economic roadmap for the 21st Century- this will help every individual and entity to understand their respective roles and work towards a common national objective.

b. We are yet to take full advantage of our small size, to better organise and manage ourselves. Larger countries are faced with challenges in communication and information sharing, and in building consensus and harmony. These lead to mismanagement, lack of responsibility and accountability, oversight, and failure to achieve results.

As a small country, we should be more efficient and effective than others. We must be able to address challenges and seize opportunities promptly. It is time to acknowledge our shortcomings, and act swiftly to correct them. The government, lawmakers, civil service, and institutions must undertake the responsibility of restructuring and improving our laws, policies and procedures.

c. Youth: It is in our hands to build a better future for our children. One of our most important national objectives, is to empower every single child in Bhutan for success. Bhutan’s future will be mirrored by the strength and capabilities of our youth.

For our children to excel, they must adhere to the highest standards, and have capability, integrity, discipline, 21st century education, unity and solidarity.

2. Gyalsung to be instituted

To address some of these concerns, Gyalsung (National Service) will commence from 2022. It will be a year-long training for those attaining the age of 18.

The one year training will include a 3-month military style training, and a 9-month program in areas like agriculture sciences, entrepreneurship, computers and coding, health sciences, etc.

Gyalsung will provide direction and encourage our youth to be strong, independent thinkers, capable of serving the country. It will bring the youth of Bhutan together in a shared experience and act as a rite of passage- irrespective of their economic or regional backgrounds.

With this initiative, we are placing an immense responsibility on the shoulders of our children, and assuming an even greater responsibility ourselves, to nurture them and ensure their success.

Moving forward, there will be nationwide consultations and an opportunity for the people to seek clarifications, and propose new ideas and recommendations.

3. His Majesty The King announced that Their Majesties are expecting a second Royal Child.

 

Writer - Tshering Denkar

 

Related Posts

Bhutan is tapping into solar energy with its first grid-tied...

Electricity in Bhutan is mostly generated from hydropower, a renewable energy source, unlike fossil-fuel driven power...

Oct 05, 2021 16:17

Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck donated much needed medical...

Access to quality healthcare services is of utmost importance to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 30, 2021 13:50

Bhutan to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project...

In a recent press release by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA), Bhutan will be collaborating with Ripple...

Sep 23, 2021 15:45

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through...

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

First tourist arrived in Bhutan after more than a year

After more than one and a half years of hiatus caused by the pandemic, Bhutan received its first tourist on Aug 9.

Aug 10, 2021 11:13

What are the endangered birds of Bhutan?

Bhutan is home to 26 endangered birds. One of these birds even has its own festival.

Jul 19, 2021 10:35

Latest

News

Bhutan is tapping into solar energy with its first grid-tied solar power plant

Electricity in Bhutan is mostly generated from hydropower, a renewable energy source, unlike fossil-fuel driven power plants that are major...

Oct 05, 2021 16:17

Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck donated much needed medical equipment to the hospitals in Bhutan

Access to quality healthcare services is of utmost importance to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 30, 2021 13:50

Features

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world

There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this...

Sep 24, 2021 16:10

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Paro FC reclaimed its champion title for BoB Bhutan Premier League 2021

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) Bhutan Premier League 2021, previously known as Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top football tournament in Bhutan...

Oct 02, 2021 19:57

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

What are the personalities of the 12 zodiac signs?

For Bhutanese, rituals and auspicious timing are part of daily life. When we want to achieve a certain goal, conducting the event at a...

Oct 14, 2021 11:18

What are the zhey dances in Bhutan?

There are a fixed number of steps in each dance, and each step has its own significance.

Oct 08, 2021 13:09

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!