Anniversary: Bhutan  will come together to celebrate the first birth anniversary of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck tomorrow.

Various cultural programmes, tree plantations, prayer ceremonies, and numerous inaugurations will take place all over the country to mark the joyous occasion.

The government is undertaking numerous activities  to celebrate the birth anniversary of HRH The Gyalsey.

The Zhung Dratshang, Nyingma Choedey, and rabdeys are performing kurims across the nation for the continued good health and long life of HRH The Gyalsey. One of the biggest Hindu prayer ceremonies is underway Mahayagya at the Shiva temple in Samtse.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, speaking at the Meet-the-Press session yesterday said that the sertog (golden pinnacle) will be installed on Drugyel Dzong coinciding with the birth anniversary of HRH The Gyalsey.

Recitations of kanjur and buum are also being carried out in gewogs, dzongkhags, and local temples, Lyonchoen said.

The construction works on a choeten each at the Thrumsengla and Pelela passes begin tomorrow. The salhang tendrel for a choeten at Tergola pass on the way to Sangbaykha from Haa has taken place and construction is expected to begin soon, Lyonchoen said.

Workers at dzong and temple construction sites across the country will be served tokha tomorrow. “This is a measure of our gratitude for their works and also to celebrate the renaissance of our culture and spiritual heritage,” Lyonchoen said.

A tshethar or life-saving programme for animals, birds and fish will also be held both within and outside the country.

A delegation from the Zhung Dratshang will be leaving for Sri Lanka soon to offer prayers to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha and the Bodhi tree.

A book is being prepared and will be launched after the birth anniversary. It will chronicle the events to celebrate the birth of HRH The Gyalsey in the past year including HRH The Gyalsey’s personal audience with the people.

The year-long public veneration of the brass image of the Zhabdrung Rinpoche brought in from Kolkata will also begin tomorrow in a simple ceremony at Semtokha Dzong.

A gift from HRH The Gyalsey to the children around the country, Sheldon – an international animation movie – dubbed in Dzongkha will be launched tomorrow.

“Our children can learn a lot of values and colloquial Dzongkha from the cartoon,” Lyonchoen said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will offer cattle, horses, birds and a caretaker to HRH The Gyalsey. “This is to strengthen the semi-nomadic traditions of our country,” Lyonchoen said.

Education minister Norbu Wangchuck said that the schools are looking forward to the birth anniversary as an opportunity to establish and nurture the sacred relationship between the future leader and citizens.

“A variety of activities are planned,” Lyonpo said. He added that the schools will also ask students to make personal pledges of either the number of books they’ll read in the year or bad habits they will shun, among others.

Agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji said the ministry is establishing a park, wildlife rescue centre for the southern dzongkhags, yak and local poultry centres, and will launch the national forest inventory, among others.

The ministry will name a new dragonfly species discovered in the country after HRH The Gyalsey.

“A good bonus for us is that our children get to begin their academic session each year by celebrating our Monarchy and in particular Our Gyalsey and His Majesty The King,” Lyonchoen said.

Tshering Palden