National Symbols of Bhutan
The National Emblem of Bhutan is a circle that projects a double diamond thunderbolt placed above the lotus. There is a jewel on all sides with two dragons on the vertical sides. The thunderbolts represent the harmony between secular and religious power while the lotus symbolizes purity. The jewel signifies the sovereign power while the dragons (male and female) represent the name of the country Druk Yul or the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
The National flag is rectangle shape, divided diagonally into two equal halves. The upper golden yellow half signifies the secular power and authority of king while lower orange symbolizes the religion and power of the Buddhism, manifested in the traditional of Drukpa Kagyu. The dragon in centre represents the name and purity off country. The jewel in its jeweled claws signifies the wealth and perfection of the country.
The Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) is the national animal of Bhutan. Myth has it that the Takin was created by Lama Drukpa Kinley by fixing the head of goat to the body of cow, when the meal was served to him by a gathering of devotes at Samtengang (Wangdiphodrang) in the 15th century. Takin was chosen as the national animal of Bhutan for its uniqueness and it is associated with country`s religious history and mythology. They lives in groups and it can be found on alpine valleys up to 4000m with surrounding forest cover and broadleaf forests down to 1200m in winter. In Bhutan, beside the Takin preservation in Thimphu, there are other best seen spots like Tarina (Lunana) and Tsharijathang between Laya and Lingshi in summer. Tashithang, Damjee, and Gasa Tshachu in winter. The adult Takin can weigh 200 – 500kgs for females and 400 – 1000kgs for males and they feed on bamboo.
Raven (Corvus corax) is the national bird of Bhutan. The Raven represents the deity Legon Jarog Dongchen, an emanation form of Mahakala one of the most important deity in Bhutan. Raven hat was initially used as a battle hemet by Black Regent Jigme Namgyel (Father of the first King of Bhutan), which was designed and consecrated by his Lama Jangchub Tsondru. Later, it ornaments the royal crown as it was declared as a national bird in the year 1971.
Archery (Dha) is the national sport of Bhutan. In the year 1971 when Bhutan became member of the United Nations, Archery was declared the national sport of Bhutan because of its significant role. Archery is played during religious and secular public holidays throughout the country. Archery tournaments are held between public ministries and departments, village to village, between the regional teams and the districts of Bhutan.
Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Grandis) is the national flower of Bhutan. It is a delicate blue and purple tinged with a white filament. It was discovered in 1933 by a British Botanist, George Sheriff in a remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan. It grows to a height of 1 meter and it is found above the tree line of 4000 – 4500 meters on the rocky mountain terrains.
Weeping Cypress (Cupressus Corneyana) is the national tree of Bhutan. Cypresses are found between 1800 and 3500 meters in the temperate climate zone. In Bhutan, large cypresses are found near temples, monasteries and Dzongs. Cypress was declared as the national tree because of its adaptation and county`s religious history.
The national anthem was first composed by a great musician, Dasho Aku Tongmi in 1953 and it became official in 1966. It is known as Drk Tsheden Kepay Gyelkhab Na (in the Land of the Dragon Kingdom, where cypresses grows).
Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. Originally, Dzongkha is the language of the inhabitants of western Bhutan (Wangdiphodrang, Thimphu & Paro). Literally, Dzongkha means the language spoken in the monasteries and administrative centre in all the 20 districts of Bhutan. Bhutan is linguistically rich with over nineteen dialects spoken in the country.
The national day in Bhutan is celebrated on 17th December every year across Bhutan. On 17th December 1907, Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk was crowned as the first hereditary King of Bhutan in Punakha Dzong. It is a national holiday and every citizen in Bhutan celebrates day with pomp and festivity throughout the country.