Marking the Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Great Fourth King, the Wangduephodrang Dzongdag and the sector heads took part in celebrating the the Annual Black Necked Crane Festival at Gangtey Gonpa this morning. The celebration started with the unfurling of the National Flag and singing of the National Anthem followed by the singing of the Zhabten for His Majesty the Fourth King, after which the festival for the day was declared open by the Dzongdag.
The annual Black Necked Crane festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of Black-necked Cranes and also aimed at generating awareness, providing economic incentives for local communities and forming an avenue for the locals to renew their commitment to conserve the cranes. It also offers communities an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
The festival has now become a part of the local culture in Gangtey-Phobjikha valley and organized by the local committee without much involvement of the Dzongkhag Headquarters so far. However, recognizing the importance of this festival and the attention that it has drawn from both national and international visitors, the Dzongkhag Administration is planning to take the lead role from next year both in provision of resources and logistics and also in organizing the event to ensure that the celebrations are done at the Dzongkhag level and are even more grand and that the participants participating in the festival takes back memories that would be cherished for a lifetime.
For the festival today, a little over one thousand tourists joined the local residents in the packed courtyard at Gangtey Gonpa.