Paro Tshechu is a festival honoring Guru Padmasambhava – “one who was born from a lotus flower.” This Indian saint contributes enormously to the diffusion of Trantric Buddhism in Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan etc. around 800 AD. He is the founder of the Nyingmapa sect, the “old school” of Lamaism which still has numerous followers.
Politics & GNH
The Government of Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 18th July 2008. Between 1907 and the 1950s, however, Bhutan was an absolute monarchy. The peaceful march to democracy has been steady one. The king of Bhutan is head of state. Executive power is exercised by the Lhengye zhungtshog, or council of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.
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One of the largest festivals is the Thimphu Tsechu in the capital. It is held on auspicious days and month in the Bhutanese calendar and last upto four days The Tsechu or Festival is in honor of Padmasambhava-
"One who was born from a lotus flower,” popularly known under the name "Guru Rimpoche," the Precious Teacher
National Symbols of Bhutan
The National tree is cypress (Cupressus torolusa). Cypresses are found in the abundance and one may notice big cypress near temples and monasteries. Cypress is found in the temperate climates zone, between 1,800 and 3,500 meters above the sea level. Its capacity to survive on rugged harsh terrain is compared to bravery and simplicity.
The National flower is Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Grandis). It is delicate blue or purple tinged blossom with a white filament. It grows to a height of 1 meter, on the rocky mountain terrain found above the tree line of 3,500-4,500 meters. It was discovered in the 1933 by a British Botanist, George sherriff, in a remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan.
The National bird is Raven and it has a great connection with both the political and religious history of Bhutan. It ornaments the royal Crown. Raven represents the deity Gonpo Jarodongchen (Raven headed Mahakal), one of the chief guardian deities of Bhutan.
The National animal is Takin (burdocars taxicolor). It is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. It lives in groups and is found pleaces above 4,000 meters high on the north-western and far north eastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboos. The adult takin can weigh over 200 kgs.
Well known for its popularity in the Nation, Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. It is the most popular sport played all across the country. There are two targets placed from a team will shoot from one end of the field to the other. Each player will get to shoot two arrows per round.
The upper yellow half signifies the secular power and authority of the king while the lower saffron-orange symbolizes the practice of religion and power of Buddhism. The Dragon signifies the name and purity of the country while the jewel in its claws stand for the wealth and perfection of the country.