National Day in Bhutan in 2023

National Day in Bhutan in 2023
  How long until National Day?
National Day
  Dates of National Day in Bhutan
2025 Bhutan Wed, Dec 17 National Holiday
2024 Bhutan Tue, Dec 17 National Holiday
2023 Bhutan Sun, Dec 17 National Holiday
2022 Bhutan Sat, Dec 17 National Holiday
2021 Bhutan Fri, Dec 17 National Holiday

Marks the day when Ugyen Wangchuck was elected as a hereditary king in 1907

When is the National Day of Bhutan?

National Day is a public holiday in the Kingdom of Bhutan on December 17th each year.

This holiday commemorates the coronation of the first King of Bhutan on this day in 1907.

History of the National Day of Bhutan

Bhutan's official name is the Kingdom of Bhutan. It is also known as "The Land of the Thunder Dragon." This is a reference to Druk the mythical dragon, which a national symbol of Bhutan.

Bhutan was first unified in the early 17th century by a Buddhist monk, Ngawang Namgyal. It was ruled under the Tibetan dual system of government led by the Zhabdrung - reincarnations of the mind, body and speech of Ngawang Namgyal. 

In the late 19th century, Bhutan was being pulled apart by conflicts with Tibet and the British Empire. 

This led to a power struggle between regional leaders with Ugyen Wangchuck, the Ponlop of Tongsa in central Bhutan emerging as the dominant figure in Bhutan, uniting the country and establishing better relations with British India.

The rise of Ugyen Wangchuck highlighted the ineffectiveness of the dual system and in November 1907, an assembly of religious leaders and, government officials was held, which decided to end the 300-year-old dual system of government and to establish a new absolute monarchy with Ugyen Wangchuck as the king.

December 17th 1907 saw the Coronation of His Majesty the First King of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck. This established the Wangchuck Dynasty which continues to rule Bhutan.

The Druk Gyalpo is the official title of the head of state of Bhutan, meaning "Dragon King" in Dzongkha.

This is Bhutan's most significant national holiday and is widely celebrated throughout the country.

All government offices and agencies will be closed on this occasion.

Did you know?

In 1973, Bhutan issued a set of postage stamps that were tiny phonographic records that could be played on a turntable.

Buying cigarettes is illegal in Bhutan.

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