Samtse marks yet another historic day today.

Every house and shop in villages has hoisted the national flag commemorating the national day.

The streets are adorned with colour lightings and flags; the buildings, choetens, and temples decked with flower garlands. The roads are swept clean and the ground where the National Day celebrations will be held today wears a fresh and grand aura.

Thousands of people, old and young, from the 15 gewogs of Samtse and beyond arrived yesterday to celebrate the 111th National Day today. While many took the arranged transportation facilities to travel, others drove their vehicles to Samtse.

This day has major significance. His Majesty The King, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and His Royal Highness the Gyalsey will grace the occasion with His Holiness the Je Khenpo for the first time for a national day celebration.

The two helicopters will also participate in the celebrations: while one will bear the national flag, the other will drop/ release tsampaka flowers over the gathering while they chant Pelden Drukpa Gyalo.

The celebration ground also features two large LED screens that will project the events. Four anchors/ the master of ceremony will engage the crowd before the event begins.

Samtse is hosting the National Day for the fourth time today. It was celebrated in 1981, 1991, and 2002. People are overjoyed they will get to see His Majesty The King, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and His Holiness the Je Khenpo, The Gyaltsuen and the Gyalsey.

People from across the country have flocked in Samtse. Shops in Tendruk remained closed as people headed to Samtse in droves.

Tsheten Dorji, 60 travelled from Tendruk gewog, along with his family and friends. His Bolero pick up was packed. “This is the most important day,” he said.

A former soldier, 67-year-old man TB Gurung of Tendruk said he is a lucky man to witness the great event. “As I am a former soldier, this moment today, is significant,” he said.

From Tading, a 33-year-old woman Dolma Tamang, had come with her two children. She is overjoyed to witness the National Day today. Although she was confused of the arrangements to stay the night, she put up a big smile when asked about the National Day.

“I would get to see my Kings and the Royal Family,” she said. “I will be seeing them up close for the first time.”

Uma Pati Phuyel, 59, from Dorokha said that the 111th National Day is significant to the whole nation.

“This day shows and signifies peace and unity,” he said, adding that today would be the day that people would leave their jobs aside and celebrate. “Samtse and its people would be blessed today.”

Uma Pati Phuyel said Bhutan and its people are living happily under the guidance and care of the Beloved Kings. Today is to celebrate in gratitude, he added.

From Denchukha, Homnath Kuikel had started yesterday morning with his family and relatives.

“We hired a Bolero,” he said, adding that there was no time to wait for the arrangements due to the excitement towards the big day.

Rajesh Rai & Tshering Palden | Samtse