National Symbols of Bhutan are representation of Bhutan’s sovereignty and they are important for country’s independence. National symbols intend to unite people by creating visual, verbal, iconic representations of the national people, values, goals, or history.
Following are the National Symbols of Bhutan.
1. National Sport
Archery is the National Sport of Bhutan. Bow and arrow were an important means of survival in the highlands during war and on hunts. Today, Archery is played during local festivals, religious and secular public holidays in Bhutan.
2. National Bird
Raven, the big black bird with shining feathers, hoarse voice, and playful nature is sacred and is national bird of Bhutan. More profoundly, it is the symbol of the country’s guardian deity Yeshey Gonpo and the Raven head takes pride of place on top of the King’s Crown. The Raven Crown symbolizes the sacred nature of Bhutanese Kingship.
3) National Animal
Associated with religious history and mythology, Takin is the national animal. It is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. It lives in groups and is found above 4000 meters and feed on a variety of leaves and grasses, as well as bamboo shoots and flowers.
4. National Flower
Meconopsis gakyidiana, a species of Blue poppy and native to Bhutan is the national flower. Curator Rinchen Yangzom decided on a new name and it was given a dzongkha name ‘Gakyid’. The name was inspired by the concept of GNH.
5. National Tree
The national tree is the cypress.Cypresses is found in abundance and Bhutanese consider the cypress sacred and held it in great reverence. Cypress is often planted outside monasteries, dzongs and religious places and its wood and branches has been used as incense for thousands of years.
6. National Dress
Gho, for men, and kira, for women, are national dress of Bhutan. All Bhutanese, except monks and nuns, are required to wear national dress in schools, government offices and on formal occasions. It is also customary to wear national dress while joining festivals and visiting temples, monasteries and Dzongs.
7. National Dish
Ema Datshi (chili and cheese) is recognized as a national dish though meat is highly revered. The dish is prepared with chili as the main ingredient. Any kind of chili (green, red, or dried) can be used. Butter/oil and cheese and salt are added to balance the hotness of chili.
8. National Flag
The National Flag of Bhutan is diagonally divided into yellow and orange fields. The yellow half stretches from the lower hoist to the upper fly end, and the orange half from the fly end to the lower hoist. White dragon with jewels in hands, flies facing away from the hoist along the dividing line.
9. National Anthem
The National Anthem of Bhutan reads as follows:
In the Kingdom of Bhutan adorned with cypress trees,
The Protector who reigns over the realm of spiritual and secular traditions,
He is the King of Bhutan, the precious sovereign.
May His being remain unchanging, and the Kingdom prosper,
May the teachings of the Enlightened One flourish,
May the sun of peace and happiness shine over all people.
10. National Currency
Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan. One Ngultrum is divided into 100 fractions known as Chetrum. The paper currency of Bhutan was formally launched only in 1974. Until then, the coins were used as a legal tender.
Ngultrum is pegged to the Indian Rupee (Rs.) at parity and the therefore, the value of Ngultrum is equivalent to the Indian Rupee. This is so because the economy of Bhutan is dependent on India.
11. National Day
December 17 is the National Day of Bhutan. The date marks the coronation of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck Bhutan’s first hereditary monarch December 17, 1907.
The commemoration of the National Day serves to remind Bhutanese of the profound sacrifices of forefathers and benevolent leadership of the successive monarchs who worked tirelessly for the wellbeing of our country and people.
12. National Emblem
The National Emblem of Bhutan is circular and two crossed thunderbolts are placed over a lotus. They are flanked on either side by a male and female white dragon.
The thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power. The lotus symbolizes purity; the jewel expresses sovereign power; and the two dragons stand for the name of the country.
13. National Language
Dzongkha is the official and National Language of Bhutan and the only language with a native literary tradition. Dzongkha is compulsory in schools and colleges. The native Dzongkha speaker counts to around 0.17 million but almost all the Bhutanese speak Dzongkha.