National Day of Thailand (2019) While most nations hold their National Days in parallel to the time they gained independence from colonizers, Thailand has a different story altogether. In Thailand, the National Day is celebrated on the 5th of December as it is the birth anniversary of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Bhumipol Adulyadej was born in 1927 in the United States, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father was then there studying at Harvard. After a short-lived return to Thailand, he and his family moved to Switzerland and did not return until after World War II had ended. Back in Thailand, when his father and brother had already passed away, he became King of Thailand on June 9th, 1946. At that point, he took up the title, “King Rama IX.”
Later, King Bhumipol went back to Switzerland to engage in further educational pursuits, leaving an uncle to rule as regent in his place. There, he met a young lady who eventually became his wife and Queen Sirikit. Only in 1950 was he of?cially crowned in the traditional ceremony. King Bhumipol had four children: three daughters and one son
Although the monarchy has had little power in Thailand since a constitutional monarchy was instituted in 1932, King Bhumi-
pol was a pillar of stability amid the upheavals of Thai politics over the decades. He managed to increase the in?uence and powers of the monarchy through his personal popularity and prestige.
The history and future of King Bhuimbol’s birthday King Bhumibol, born on 5 December 1927 in the US state of Massachusetts, was widely revered by people across Thailand, and consequently his birthday has long since given rise to a large number of celebrations and festivities across the country annually. After his death in 2016, it serve as an annual opportunity to remember the late king. As King Bhumibol was seen
by many as the symbolic father of Thailand, 5 December has also long been celebrated as father’s day nationwide – in the same way as mother’s day falls on 12 August, the birthday of Queen Sirikit – and this has not been changed since his passing. On the occasion of father’s day, Thais pay respect to their father and grandfather, often offering them a canna ?ower, similar to a lily and known in Thai as dok phuttha raksa
When is King Bhumibol’s Birthday?
This national holiday in Thailand is held annually on December 5th.
If December 5th falls on a weekend, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday.
The day commemorates the birthday of the late King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is also Thailand’s National Day and is the day when Father’s Day is celebrated in Thailand.
History of King Bhumibol’s Birthday
Known as Rama IX, he reigned Thailand since June 9th 1946 until his death on October 13th 2016, making him the longest-reigning Despite being a constitutional monarch, and not legally being allowed a role in politics, Bhu-mibol made several decisive interventions in the Thai political sphere and has been credited with helping facilitate Thailand’s transition to democracy in the 1990s.
The holiday itself is a colourful affair. Buildings across Thailand will display ?ags, bunting and portraits of the late King, while around the Grand Palace area of Bangkok, the streets are decorat-ed with thousands of marigolds.
Marigolds are chosen for their colour, as yellow is the predominant colour of the celebrations; as the King was born on a Monday and in Thailand, yellow is the colour for Monday.
In the evening, the streets around Ratchadamnoen and San-am Luang are closed to traf?c and many people come to watch celebratory ?reworks displays.
Most government of?ces are closed on this holiday and banks are closed except branch-es in shopping centres. There is no ban on the sale of alcohol on this holiday. Remembering the Father of the Nation
December 5 is a public holiday in Thailand in honour of the late king, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Thai monarch was born on December 5 and this date is also celebrated as Father’s Day in recognition of a man who was fondly regarded as the ‘Father of The Nation’.
Celebrating the life of the King
During his lifetime, the king’s birthday on December 5 was a national day of celebration. Provinces throughout Thailand staged special events with ?reworks, candle-lit ceremonies and music concerts. Commemorative events are likely to be more subdued in the years after the passing of the king, but December 5 will remain a day for the king’s life and achievements to be celebrated. In Bangkok, it has been a tradition in December for Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the area around the Grand Palace to be beautifully illuminated with strings of lights and it is expected that this tradition will continue.
The Thai king was a keen photographer and sailor, but it is music where King Bhumi-bol was particularly renowned. He was an accomplished saxophone and clarinet player and his fondness for jazz saw him compose and perform his own works. The king’s love for music is the inspiration behind Concert in the Park, a series of free concerts which takes place during the cool season months at Lumphini Park in Bangkok.
The early years The Thai king has an interesting background. His father, Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, was studying in the USA at Harvard and the future monarch was born at a hospital in Massachusetts on December 5th, 1927. The young Bhumibol was educated in Thailand and Switzerland and it was in Europe where he met his future wife, Sirikit, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France. It was also in Switzerland where the future monarch was involved in a motor accident which resulted in him losing the sight in his right eye.
King Bhumibol acceded to the throne in 1946 when he was 18 years old and became Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty. To allow the young king to complete his education, the coronation was delayed until 1950. He married Queen Sirikit on April 28th 1950 with his coronation a week later on May 5th.
Yellow and pink for the King
Yellow is the colour associated with the king’s birthday (a Monday). The king’s royal standard is yellow, but during the later years of his life he also became associated with the colour pink. The king endured health problems in the twilight of his reign and in 2007 royal astrologers announced that pink was good for the king’s health. This sparked a fashion craze in Thailand with people from all walks of life rushing to buy pink shirts to follow the lead of the king. In the days leading up to the king’s death, thousands of well-wishers dressed in pink polo-shirts gathered outside Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok.
King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit established numerous Royal Projects to improve life in villages throughout Thailand. The couple’s compassion and the longevity of their reign led them to being viewed affectionately by many Thais as the ‘Royal Father’ and ‘Royal Mother’. Just as the king’s birthday on December 5 is celebrated as Father’s Day in Thailand, Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12 is celebrated as Mother’s Day.
When the king was alive, his birthday was a day of celebration. Events may be more muted in subsequent years, but December 5 will still be a day when Thailand remembers the ‘Father of the Nation’. A popular sentiment wide-ly shared on social media in the days after the king’s death sums up the feeling of many Thais: “We aren’t the best country in the world, but we were the country with the best King in the world.”