The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan celebrated the birth of the crown prince in a very unique way indeed. The birth of the prince was celebrated by planting over 108,000 saplings across the country. In Buddhism, trees are considered to be the provider of life, and the number 108 is considered a sacred number.
The tree plantation ceremony is a form of prayer for the newborn in Bhutan – the land of happiness, where happiness and well being of citizens and conservation of environment are given prime importance. Celebrations go hand in hand with nature here.
As part of the birth ceremony of the prince, a ‘Happiness Garden’ was also inaugurated in the capital Thimphu, where international travellers would be able to go and plant a sapling.
Bhutan evaluates prosperity by The Gross National Happiness (GNH) that is a measure of the spiritual, physical, cultural, social and environmental health of its citizens and natural environment. It believes that the well being of the people lies in the well being of the environment, and has committed to conserve its forests and be carbon neutral. The constitution of Bhutan mandates a minimum 60 % of the total land area to be under forest, while the country has actually achieved a higher percentage of land under forest cover.
Long live happiness !