Bhutan Sacred Symbols
1. National Flag: The National Flag of Bhutan is divided diagonally with a white Dragon in the center. The Upper diagonal section is colored yellow representing temporal power and the secular authority of the Monarchy. The Lower section is Orange and represents the spiritual power of the Drukpa Kagyupa religion. The White color of the Dragon stands for peace. Its snarling mouth symbolizes the protection of the country and the people from worldly evils. The Dragon, clutching the Bhutanese symbol of jewels in its claws, represents the country’s wealth and prosperity.
2. National Emblem: The National Emblem, contained in a circle is composed of a double diamond thunderbolt placed above a lotus surmounted by a jewel and framed by two Dragons. The double diamond thunderbolt represents the harmony between the secular and religious powers. The lotus symbolizes purity, the jewel represents sovereign power and the two dragons a male and a female stands for the name of the country-the land of the Thunder Dragon (DRUK YUL)
3. National Bird: The National Bird of Bhutan,Raven is the largest bird from the Crow Family. Ravens can live for upto 40 years in the wild and about 70 years in captivity.
Ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds and displays very high learning skill.
The Raven (Corvus Corax Tibetanus) represents one of the most powerful deities of the country, Jarog Dongchen, hence the local name Jarog. Jarog Dongchen, along with Yeshey Gonpo(Mahakala) and Palden Lhamo(Mahakali) form the devine Trinity and protects the King and the people of Bhutan from harm and safeguards their well-being. Therefore,the Raven holds a significant and permanent place on the Raven Crown,also interpreting reverence for the bird and faith in the protective deity.
4. National Animal: Takin (Burdocas Taxicolor) is locally known as the Drong Gyem Tse. The Takin was selected as the national animal for its uniqueness ans association to the religious myth that surrounds its origin. It is believed that Lama Drukpa Kuenley created it by sticking a Goat’s head on to the body of the cow. Takins live in herds at a high altitudes of 4,000 meters.
5. National Tree: The Cypress (Cupressus Torulosa) is known as “Tsenden Tshing” to the Bhutanese. An evergreen tree revered as sacred, its branches and needle shaped leaves are used as incense. Apart from the natural forests, cypress is also found planted outside Dzongs(Fortresses), Monasteries, Temples and other religious surroundings. The wood being hard, durable and resistant to termites and insects, holds a humble place in Bhutanese sentiment.
6. National Flower: Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Grandis) grows on the rocky terrain above the tree line,which ranges from 3,500 to 4,000 meters. It is locally known as “Eugelma Metog Hoem”. In times past people considered the Blue Poppy to be part of a myth as its existence was not confirmed. It was discovered in Bhutan by a British botanist, George Sheriff, in 1933 in the remote mountain region of Sakteng.
7: National Game: Archery,locally named “Dha” is a well loved and played sport throughout Bhutan. Traditionally,bows and arrows were made of bamboos. The players are always men, and women participate in the traditional dancing and singing to encourage or put off the archers. The two competing teams, wearing traditional dresses, pursue highest number of hits at the wooden targets that are placed 140 meters apart. If the player makes a hit his team mates rejoice by dancing and singing. The opponents are often critiqued and made fun of. The number of hits or “Karays” is depicted by the number of colored scarves around the players’ waists.