8 National Symbols
The National Emblem of Bhutan is a circle that projects a double diamond thunderbolt placed above the lotus. There is a jewel on all the sides and two dragons on the two vertical sides. The two thunderbolts represent the harmony between secular and religious power. The lotus symbolizes purity. The jewel signifies sovereign power. The two dragons (male and female) on each side stand for the name of the country (Druk means dragon and for the Bhutanese, Bhutan is known as Druk yul or the Land of the Dragon).
Bhutan is a multi-lingual society. Today, about 19 languages and dialects are spoken all over the country. However, the state language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. In the ancient times this language was used by the people who worked in the Dzongs, the fortresses that was the temporal and spiritual seat. Later, feeling the need to have a common tool of communication, Dzongkha was introduced as the national language of Bhutan.
The national anthem was first composed in 1953 and became official in 1966. It is known as Druk Tshenden Kepay Gyalkhab Na (In the Dragon Kingdom, where cypress grows).
National Anthem of Bhutan
Original Bhutanese Lyrics
Druk tsendhen koipi gyelkhap na
Lug nyi ki tenpa chongwai gyon
Pel mewang ngadhak rinpo chhe
Ku jurmey tenching chhap tsid phel
Chho Sangye ten pa goong dho phel
Bang dey kyed nyima shar warr sho.
The Thunder Dragon Kingdom of Cypress
In the Thunder Dragon Kingdom, where cypresses grow
Refuge of the glorious monastic and civil traditions,
The glorious King of Druk, precious soverign,
His being is eternal, his reign prosperous.
May the teachings of the Blessed one thrive and flourish!
May the sun of peace and happiness shine on the people!
It’s celebrated on December 17. It marks the crowning of Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the first king of Bhutan, in Punakha Dzong on 17 December 1907 by the people of Bhutan unanimously for restoring peace and order when he was the Trongsa Penlop, Governor of Trongsa. For this reason, all the Kings of Bhutan are installed as Trongsa Penlop before their enthronement as King. This is a national holiday in Bhutan.
National Flower “Blue Poppy”
The national flower is Blue Poppy (Meconopsis horridula). It is delicate blue or purple tinged blooms with a white filament. It grows to a height of 1 meter, on the rocky mountain terrain found above the tree line (3500-4500). This flower is however linked with a myth of a yeti. It was discovered in 1933 by a British Botanist, George Sherriff in remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan.
National Tree “Cypress”
The national tree is cypress (Cupressus torolusa). In Bhutan one can notice big cypresses near the religious structures. Cypress is found in the temperate climate zone, between 1800 and 3500 metres altitude. It is associated with religiou. Its capacity to survive on rugged harsh terrain is compared to bravery and simplicity.
National Bird “Raven”
The national bird is the raven. It ornaments the royal crown. Raven represents the deity Gonpo Jarodongchen (raven headed Mahakala), one of the chief guardian deities of Bhutan.
National Animal “Takin”
The national animal is takin (burdorcas taxicolor). The reason for selecting this mammal as a national animal is because it is associated with religious history and mythology. It is a very rare mammal. It has a thick neck and short muscular legs. It lives in groups and is found in places 4000 meters high on the north-western and far north eastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboos. It can weigh about 250 kgs.