16th_BNC_11112014Coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the 16thAnnual Black-necked Crane festival was organized in the courtyard of Gangtey Goemba in Phobjikha on 11th November 2014. The organizing committee, Phobjikha Environment Management Committee, an initiative of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, unanimously came up with the theme, “Community in harmony with the cranes”, for the 2014 Black-necked Crane festival.

The local community, young and old, awaits the big day as it is the day of most significance in their lives – birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the arrival of the Black-necked Cranes  in the valley.   Dressed in their best outfits, the local community gathered in the Gangtey Goemba courtyard as early as possible to get the best seats where they can witness the grand Black-necked Crane dance performed by the students of the valley.

The crane costumes worn by the performers glowed bright in the sunny day as they danced to the tune of a song dedicated to Black-necked cranes.

As a part of having a unique item for each year, three schools of the valley – Phobjikha Middle Secondary School, Bayta Community Primary School and Rameychen Community Primary School – took part in the poem composition and recitation based on the day’s theme.

The two best poems composed by the students were selected by the respective schools a month prior to the festival. On the day of the festival, three random tourists were selected as judges for the poem recitation by the students. All the participants were given a certificate each and a cash prize for the winners. Other programs included mask dances by the monks of Gangtey Shedra, cultural dance items by the local women group and students from three schools.