For Dawa Zam, His Majesty’s birth anniversary on February 21 was a blessed day.

She was among the thousands who had gathered at the Changlingmithang stadium to celebrate the day. The colourful chairs at the stadium with row of national flags swaying in the wind against a blue sky started to fill in before the programme began at 10am.

The 21-year-old from Wangdue had recently sold her grocery shop in Thimphu and was planning to return to her village in Hebisa.

She said the lottery was the other reason for her to go to Changlingmithang to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday. She was hopeful to win a lottery. She went home with a power tiller.

“Before the result was announced, I told my friend that I wished I would win the power tiller because my father at the village does not have one and I would like to take it to him,” she said. “I got what I wished for on such a special day and I couldn’t be happier.”

Besides the cultural programmes by the students of various schools in Thimphu, the lottery programme coordinated by the home ministry was one of the highlights of the celebration.

About 18 prizes including cell phones, laptops, a mountain bike, a television set, and health insurance policies were given away to the public. The prizes were donated by various corporate and private organisations.

Lhaba, 73, from Haa said he was living in Thimphu for the last 10 years and since then, never missed His Majesty’s birth anniversary and the national day celebrations at Changlimithang.

“Today, I came here with my wife to celebrate the birth anniversary of our beloved His Majesty and to pray for his long life together with thousands of people,” Lhaba said.

Dawa Bidha, 23, from Genekha in Thimphu also said that while there were many ways to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday, there is a charm in celebrating the day at the Changlingmithang.

“It’s an happy occasion and I like to be among happy people,” she said. “I like being in the crowd and enjoy the cultural programmes.”

The chief guest, National Council Chairperson Tashi Dorji, addressing the gathering said that the day is an occasion to pay tribute to the selfless services of His Majesty The King and pray for his good health, long life and continued peace and harmony in the country.

Dechen Tshomo