National Symbols of Bhutan
The national emblem, contained in a circle, is composed of a double diamond-thunderbolt (dorje) placed above a lotus, surmounted by a jewel and framed by two dragons. The thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power. The lotus symbolizes purity; the jewel expresses sovereign power; and the two dragons, male and female, stand for the name of the country which they proclaim with their great voice, the thunder.” It is also known for its symbolic colors of the emblem with the gold, teal, red etc…
The National flag is divided diagonally into two equal halves.
The upper yellow half signifies the secular power and authority of the king while the lower saffron-orange symbolizes the practice of religion and the power of Buddhism, manifested in the tradition of Drukpa Kagyu. The dragon signifies the name and the purity of the country while the jewels in its jeweled claws stand for the wealth and perfection of the country.
The National flower of Bhutan is called Blue Poppy or meconopsis Grandis in scientific. It grows in the mountain terrain and found above the tree line. It was first spotted in a remote part of Sakten in eastern Bhutan by George Sheriff, British Botanist in 1933.
Cypresses are found in abundance and one may notice large cypresses near temples and monasteries. This tree is found in the temperate climate zone, between 1800 and 3500 meters. Its capacity to survive on rugged harsh terrain is compared to bravery and simplicity.
The national animal is the Takin (Burdorcastaxicolor) that is associated with religious history and mythology.
It is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. It lives in groups and is found above 4000 meters on the north-western and far north eastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboo. The adult Takin can weigh over 200 kgs.
The national bird is the raven.It adorns the royal crown. The raven represents the deity Gonpo Jarodongchen (raven headed Mahakala), one of the chief guardian deities of Bhutan.
Dzongkha is Bhutan’s official language. It literally means ‘the language spoken in the dzongs and administrative centers in all the districts of Bhutan’. It has its roots in the old-Tibetan language, spoken by the people of Western Bhutan. Besides Dzongkha there are two major languages spoken by the people of Bhutan: Sharchokpa (spoken in Eastern Bhutan) and Nepali (spoken in Southern Bhutan). English is taught a medium of instruction in schools and therefore widely spoken.
One of the most distinctive features of the Bhutanese is their traditional dress, unique garments that have evolved over thousands of years. Men wear the Gho, a knee-length robe that is tied at the waist by a traditional belt known as Kera. Women wear colourful blouses over which they fold and clasp a larger rectangular cloth called kira, thereby creating and ankle-length dress.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and very village has its own archery range.The traditional bows and arrows are made of bamboo. Archery is being palyed by forming teams. There are two targets placed over 150 meters apart and teams shoot from one end to the field to the other. Eash palyers of the team shoots two arrows per round. Now people play mostly on imported bows.
Archery competition are among the most picturesque and colorful events in the country and are the integral part of all festivities. . They are generally held at Losar (Bhutanese New Year) but smaller competitions are held throughout the year.
The National Day of Bhutan is December 17. The date marks the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first Druk Gyalpo of modern Bhutan. Celebrations are held at Changlimithang Stadium, and include a public address by the Druk Gyalpo and a procession including a statue of Ugyen Wangchuck to honor the first Druk Gyalpo and the independent Bhutanese nation.