The National Day of Bhutan is 17 December (Ugyen Wangchuck elected hereditary king 1907). Bhutan’s National Day, also known as “Gyalpo Losar”. This marks the coronation of the first King of Bhutan, His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck, in 1907.
National Day of Bhutan
Bhutan was not always an independent country. Prior to the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck. Bhutan was a collection of warring fiefdoms with no central authority. In the late 19th century, Ugyen Wangchuck emerged as a strong leader and succeeded in unifying the country under his rule.
In 1907, a council of representatives from all the districts of Bhutan gathered in the Punakha Dzong (fortress). This to witness Ugyen Wangchuck’s coronation as the first hereditary king of Bhutan. This event marked the beginning of Bhutan’s transition from a feudal society to a modern nation-state.
Over the years, Bhutan has taken several steps towards modernization and development. This while also preserving its unique cultural heritage and traditional way of life. Bhutan’s independence was formally recognized by the international community when it became a member of the United Nations in 1971.
Public Holidays of Bhutan
Here are some of the major public holidays in Bhutan:
- National Day: December 17th, commemorating the coronation of the first king of Bhutan;
- Losar: This is the Bhutanese New Year, usually celebrated in February or March, depending on the lunar calendar;
- Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche: This is a religious holiday commemorating the birth of Guru Rinpoche;
- May Day: May 1st is a public holiday in Bhutan;
- Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana: This holiday marks the anniversary of the Buddha’s death;
- Coronation Day: This holiday celebrates the coronation of the current king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck;
- National Day of Bhutan: December 17th, commemorating the coronation of the first king of Bhutan.