National day is celebrated on 17th of December in commemoration of the accession of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk, the first king of Bhutan to the throne, at Punakha Dzong.
The crowning started a period of peace, unity, and prosperity to Bhutan that had previously experienced many years of civil war. Celebrations are held in Changlimethang National Stadium, where the king and a statue of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck are brought in for an elaborate and colorful procession. Many people on this day come from neighboring cities to participate in the National Day events, as well as members of the Royal family, clergy, armed forces, and international community. The national flag is hoisted, followed by the Jibi Pao, a Marchhang ceremony, and Buddhist religious ceremonies to ask protection and guidance. Bhutanese all over the country follow the ceremonies on television an apparatus not allowed in the country until 1999-and join the king in religious ceremonies in the the Buddhist temples and dzongs, with flower offerings and candles.
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