National Symbols

National Emblem

A circle projecting a double diamond thunderbolt placed above the lotus is the National Emblem of Bhutan. There are two dragons on the either sides and jewels on all the sides. Lotus represents purity; the thunderbolts harmony between secular and religious power and the jewels signifies sovereign power. The dragons on the either side, a male and a female, represent the name of the country. (Druk means dragon and for the Bhutanese, Bhutan is known as Druk yul or the Land of the Dragon).

National Flag

The rectangular national flag is diagonally divided into two parts with a white dragon on the divide. The upper half is yellow and the lower saffron-orange. The upper half signifies the secular power and authority of the king. The lower half represents the practice of religion and power of the Buddhism. The white dragon signifies the name of the country. The jewels in its claws stand for the wealth and perfection of the country. The national flag on Bhutan was created in 1947 by Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji. It was later modified in 1956 which took the present shape.

The National Tree

Big cypresses (Cupressus torulosa) found near religions structures in the temperate zone, between 1800 and 3500 metres altitudeis the National Tree of Bhutan. The national tree of Bhutan, Cypress, is associated with religion. Its ability to survive on rugged terrain is compared to bravery and simplicity.

 

The National Bird

Raven is the national bird of Bhutan. Raven which represents the chief guardian deity of Bhutan Gonpo Jarodongchen (raven headed Mahakala) also ornaments the royal crown. 

 

The National Animal
Takin (budorcas taxicolor) is the national animal of Bhutan. This very rare animal is associated with religious history and mythology. This is the reason for choosing it as the National Animal of Bhutan. Takins have a thick neck and short muscular legs. They live in groups and are found in places 4000 meters high on the north-western and far north eastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboos and weigh about 250 kgs.

 

National Flower

It is a delicate blue or purple tinged blossom with a white filament. It grows to a height of 1 meter, and is found above the tree line (3500-4500 meters) on rocky mountain terrain. It was discovered in 1933 by a British Botanist, George Sherriff in a remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan.

 

National Games

It is the most popular games played in Bhutan. It is the national game of Bhutan. Archery is played between two teams wearing traditional dress. Each team shoots sets of arrows at a small wooded target. The members of the team sings and dances each time one player of the team shoots at the target. Traditional sports like dart (khuru), javelin throw (suksom) are also played. Football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, golf, cricket are some of the sports played today in Bhutan.

National Language

Over 19 languages and dialects spoken all over the country makes Bhutan a multi-lingual society. The language which was used by the people working in the Dzongs is today the national language. The dzongs or the fortress was the seats of temporal and spiritual leaders. Feeling the need to have a common means of communication, Dzongkha was introduced as the national language of Bhutan.

National Day

The national day of Bhutan marks the crowning of Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the first king of Bhutan, in Punakha Dzong on 17 December 1907. He was elected unanimously by the people of Bhutan for restoring peace and order when he was the Trongsa Penlop, Governor of Trongsa.Thus annually 17th December is marked as the National Day of Bhutan. 

National Anthem

Sometime in 1953, the Late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck issued an order to compose a national anthem. The lyrics, choreography and tune were then composed by taking the national anthems of India and England as references. Dorji, alias Aku Tongmi who was the then a Magtsi in the Royal Bhutan Army composed the tune and choreography. The lyrics was composed by Gyaldon Thinley, the Guest Master of the State. Aku Tongmi was trained in Shillong, India and became the country’s first bandmaster. Four months after his return from India, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited the country. Aku Tongmi composed the music of the National Anthem for the event, which is still played by the brass band of the Royal Bhutan Armed Forces although Aku Tongmi’s original notation has not been retained.

The original notation was perhaps composed around 1958 during Nehru’s visit. It was slightly modified in 1962 by Mr. Bajan Singh, the Indian Army officer who served as bandmaster for the Bhutanese armed forces’ brass band from 1962-1996. After 1962, the notation again underwent alterations in the hands of Mr. H. Joseph, also a bandmaster of the Indian Army.

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