People in Samtse are ecstatic and looking forward to the 111th National Day celebration on December 17.
Many waited to watch the dress rehearsal until evening yesterday that was practised at the newly laid astro turf below the dzong. Starting from a chipdrel ceremony until the closing, all activities were rehearsed in sequence.
A class nine student from Samtse Higher Secondary School, Indra Dahal, 16 is excited.
“National Day is a very important day,” she said. “And this time we will get to see the Gyalsey.”
She said the celebration of the 111th National Day is the heart and soul of the country.
A resident, Savitri Pradhan, 56, who had come to watch the rehearsal from Sangachholing gewog was enthusiastic about December 17. “I would be able to see my Kings in my own dzongkhag for the first time,” she said.
Samtse dzongkhag administration expects about 20,000 spectators on December 17. However, officials said that the number would increase.
Samtse thrizin Nima Dukpa said everybody wants to come from the 15 gewogs.
“Even the stadium would not have enough space on December 17,” the thrizin said.
Thrizin also said the 111th National Day is the most awaited day for Samtse and its people. “We have been in high spirits for six months now,” he said. “This is a great change for Samtse and the people.”
The dzongkhag administration would provide free transportation to the people, places for halts, and food.
A businessman, Dhurba Raj Gurung said the National Day celebration is a beautiful moment for every Bhutanese to express their profound respects and deepest gratitude to the beloved Kings.
“At the same time, it is to reaffirm our solidarity, loyalty, and dedication to the tsawa-sum,” he said. “The celebration would be in the presence of the three generations of our Beloved Kings and we cannot ask for more.”
The rehearsal conducted yesterday was the first one. The final would be held today.
With the 111th National Day celebrations, Samtse would be celebrating the event for the fourth time with Their Majesties. His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo had graced the National Days in 1981, 1991, and 2002 in Samtse.
On December 17, several unique dances by different community groups in Samtse would perform to showcase their culture. Students from Gomtu Middle Secondary School and Samtse College of Education would also perform.
In the build up to the 111th National Day, Samtse dzongkhag administration also started a food, fun, and fair festival on December 10. Both locals and people from Chamarchi had set up various stalls. Hundreds of people attended the festival that concluded yesterday.
Rajesh Rai | Samtse