December 29, 2012

His Majesty the King's Birthday and Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit are constitutional monarchs, but they still have great influence on the Thai government and have devoted their lives to assisting the poor and helping Thailand make the transition to a democratic government. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest reigning current monarch, having reigned since 1946, and Queen Sirikit is the world's longest reigning queen consort. They are loved by their people, who honor them with festivities on their birthdays. The King and Queen are considered to be the father and mother of all Thai people, so their birthdays are also celebrated as Father's Day and Mother's Day. Hence, the dates of Father's Day and Mother's Day change every time there is a new monarch in Thailand. If the holiday falls on a weekend, it is observed the following Monday.

Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday is December 5. On this day, many Thai people dress in yellow, which symbolizes their devotion to their King. The King gives a speech to government officials, which is later broadcast on TV. Buildings are decorated with flags, banners, lights. and pictures of the King. There are parades in big cities. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is decorated with flowers. Additionally, there are religious ceremonies held for the King. People all over Thailand free captive animals and pray for Bhumibol Adulyadej's good health. Since it is Father's Day, people give their fathers gifts and take them out for dinner.

People dress in yellow to honor their King: credits to

In the evening, a free concert takes place in the garden outside the palace. Musicians of all ages perform many genres of music. It is considered an honor to be asked to play at this concert, according to Some performers sing songs composed by the King himself. When the sun goes down, there are fireworks.

Sirikit's birthday is August 12. Buildings are decorated with lights, Thai flags, and pictures of the Queen. There are parades and festivals. The biggest festival takes place on the street in front of the Grand Palace. Fireworks light up the sky at night. The Queen's Birthday celebrations are similar to the King's Birthday celebrations in many ways; however, there are some differences. People dress in pink instead of yellow. Children give flowers and other gifts to their mothers. Jasmine, which represents respect toward mothers, is often used as a decoration. 

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit have done much to help Thailand. They are greatly loved and respected by their people, who demonstrate their gratefulness on December 5 and August 12 every year. The days on which these beloved monarchs die will be sad ones.

Birthday shoutouts to Beth

1 comment:

  1. This is really cool info - imagine having the dates of Mother's Day and Father's Day shifting around based on the birthdays of one's monarchs! I also liked the use of the colors yellow and pink - in your research, did you learn why these two colors are significant?