Celebration: Thousands of people arrived at the Autsho school ground in their festive best, from across Lhuentse, while some travelled from as far as Mongar, for the opportunity to celebrate the Chunyipai Losar with their King yesterday.

His Majesty spent the day among the people and granted a grand public tokha.

The day was celebrated with traditional songs and dances. Officials serving His Majesty the King entertained the people and a lottery draw, with items essential to farmers as prizes, was also organised.

“I have received several opportunities to celebrate such occasions and receive audience with His Majesty,” Jambay Dorji, 78, who lives in Mongar with his wife and daughter, said. Jambay and his wife had travelled to Gyalpoizhing to celebrate Chunyipai Losar with His Majesty the King last year as well.

“We are fortunate to receive such opportunities many times as His Majesty is always among his people,” Jambay said.

Hundreds of people from Lhuentse lined up along the highway yesterday to offer tshogchang and welcome His Majesty. His Majesty visited Dungkar, and offered nyendhar and prayers at the Dungkar Choje Nagtshang.

His Majesty also granted an audience to the people of Dungkar and neighbouring villages.

Earlier on January 19, His Majesty visited the Second Winter Youth Enrichment Programme (WYEP) in Gyalpoizhing where girls from across the six eastern dzongkhags are participating in a winter camp.

His Majesty granted audience to the girls and graced an exhibition and a cultural programme put together by the participants.

Most of the participants would otherwise find employment at orange collection depots or road construction, which renders them vulnerable, even though it means helping supplement their family income.

During the camp, the girls attended lessons in English, dance, information technology, soap and candle making, knitting and art.

They also received counselling, career guidance, scouting and life skills training. Guest lecturers spoke on democracy, spirituality, drugs, environment, hygiene, reproductive health and other related topics.

The girls received free health check ups at the camps and more than 90 who require glasses will receive them, facilitated by the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon.

His Majesty granted the girls a copy of a special edition of the story of Lord Buddha, as well as soelra equivalent to the amount they would have earned if they had spent the month working on daily wages.

The WYEP was organised on the command of His Majesty the King, to give girls from the eastern dzongkhags an opportunity to spend their winter holidays meaningfully, and help them gain various skills, self-confidence and a boost in their academics.