The Birth Anniversary of Fourth Druk Gyalpo is a national public holiday in Bhutan that’s observed each 11 November – the birthday of Bhutan’s fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
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“Druk Gyalpo” means “Dragon King”. And the Bhutanese have long called themselves “Dragon People” and their land “Land of the Dragons”, at least in the Dzongkha language. However, it was only in the time of the Third Druk Gyalpo when Bhutan’s kings began to be called “Dragon King” as an honorary title.
The predecessor and father of the fourth Druk Gyalpo is looked on as the Father of Modern Bhutan, but his son’s birthday is also a holiday since he continued and strengthened the reforms began by his father.
One of the main emphases of the reign of the third and fourth kings of Bhutan was the carrying out of rural projects that improved the standard of living of farmers and other rural folk.
Jigme Singye Wangchuck reigned from 1972 till his abdication in 2008. Today, his son reigns over Bhutan as the Fifth Druk Gyalpo.
Aside from rural development, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo did much to establish parks and protect the environment of Bhutan, accomplished judicial reforms and decentralisation, and strengthened Bhutan’s relationship with India and other countries in the UN.