Tshering Palden 

To mark the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King, members of the Cabinet, Parliament, clergy, senior civil servants, and the public offered a thousand butter lamp at the Kuenrey of Trashichhodzong early yesterday morning.

They also offered Zhabten to His Majesty (prayer for long life). Buelwa of grains, textiles, and other offerings were also offered in front of His Majesty The King’s portrait at the Kuenrey.

Zhung Dratshang’s Leytshog Lopon Sangay Dorji, who presided over the prayer ceremony said that as per the command of His Majesty The King for the peace and wellbeing of the country, monks recited the Kagyur (the collection of the Buddha’s original teachings) written in gold at the Kuenrey.

The Zhung Dratshang has also begun a Jana Chidoe at the Tendrelthang for the public yesterday.

Leytshog Lopon Sangay Dorji said that for the first time, a nine-day Phurpai Drubchen is held at the Buddha Dordenma in Kuenselphodrang. The drubchen was composed by His Holiness the 69th Je Khenpo late Geshey Gedun Rinchen.

“It was only conducted in Kanglung Shedra so far and never in Thimphu. It began yesterday coinciding with His Majesty’s birth anniversary,” the Lopon said.  “It is the most elaborate of drubchens with so many precious relics.”

He said that the drupchen was dedicated to His Majesty’s long life and good health.

While the Jana Chidoe was an annual event for the monk body it was held at the Tendrelthang for the benefit of the public. The rest of the rituals were part of the events planned for the year, the Lopon said.

Those gathered at the dzong said it was the most appropriate way to begin the celebrations of the joyous day.

In a separate event to mark the day, 2,200 prayer flags were hoisted and dedicated to His Majesty The King yesterday on the road leading to the Buddha Dordenma statue at Kuenselphodrang and Sangaygang, Thimphu.

Gyalsay Trulku Jigme Tenzin Wangpo along with Gyalwa Shacha Trulku and two Trulku Yangisids of Je Geduen Rinchen consecrated the flags.

The metal flag poles would be used hereafter to hoist prayer flags by Thimphu residents, thus saving thousands of young trees every year.

Bhutanese from all over the country including those residing abroad in Australia, the USA and other parts of the world contributed to the initiative. It is an initiative of Newsy Advertisement and Media with support from Thimphu Thromde and Thimphu dzongkhag administrations.

To sustain the prayer flags, a fund has been set aside to replace worn-out flags if and when necessary and for other maintenance works.

Meanwhile, His Majesty The King offered prayers and nyendar at the Machhen Lhakhang in Punakha dzong yesterday.  His Majesty The King spent the day with the people of Gasa and Punakha.

His Majesty granted Khimsa (land) kidu to the people of Laya and Lunana in Punakha so that the highlanders can build houses in their winter home. Land kidu was also granted to the people of Gasa and Punakha.