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The 5th December was His Majesty
the King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday or
in Thai language. This public holiday was celebrated nationwide as Father's Day
("WAN PHO HENG CHAT" - วันพ่อแห่งชาติ). The King is considered as
the father of all Thai people.
To celebrate the King's birthday in Bangkok, Thai people
from all provinces were coming. Nakhon Pathom group had arrived
in Bangkok also by bus.
Free food, free water and free bus fare were provided
to the people joining this celebration.
A souvenir photo was taken before the whole group was heading to their reserved
In fact, local functionaries such as subdistrict headman
("KAMNAN" - กำนัน) had paid for the
trip expenses. Each province needed to show they were present to this major Thai event.
People gathered at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, a former reception hall within
Dusit Palace in Bangkok.
Thai people sat down, ate and chat together while
waiting for the official celebrations to start. A good friendly atmosphere was
A panel indicated the reserved location for each province.
Thai people wore pink color clothes on the Father's day.
On each Monday, Thai people often wear yellow clothes.
Since the political issues between Red shirts and Yellow shirts, yellow
color is less popular on Monday.
Everybody had a chair.
Tens of thousands of people were coming from the 76 Thai provinces.
Thai flags were distributed by some volunteers.
The Thai flag ("THONG TRAI RONG" - ธงไตรรงค์)
symbolises the monarchy (blue color),
the nation (red color) and the Buddhism (white color).
Huge portraits of the Thai King were displayed all over the
country. "PHAN PHUM" items (พานพุ่ม)
were displayed in front of the King portraits.
It is a Royal way to wish good health
and merit (บารมี).
On each side of the area, there were places to pray
(มีที่ไหว้) and give respect to
Huge statue of Thai King Rama V - Chulalongkorn riding a horse
Big panels representing the Queen and the King were displayed all over Thailand.
Music was performed during the afternoon. One big issue was the toilets, which were
Thai people started to arrive around 1PM but the feast started only
around 7PM. There was a rotation in order to keep the good seats.
Many local products were on sale. Especially "One Tambon One Product" (OTOP)
goods were popular.
End of afternoon was approaching and Thai people were eagerly waiting for the
King's birthday feast to start.
At around 7 PM, the feast started. Big displays shown the huge crowd.
Unfortunately in year 2009, the King couldn't join
as he was at hospital.
Thai singers performed a show. It is always an honor for them to be invited
to perform on the King's birthday. Most of the songs were related to the King.
Most of the singers were old style singers as young singers often
didn't know how to sing such songs.
On a 3 or 4 rai (one rai - ไร่ is 1600m2)
surface, around one million Thai people were present.
All Thai people were giving a formal greeting to the King
The show had started. The long awaiting was over and lights over the palace
started to switch on.
Thai flags were waved with strong vigor to celebrate the King's birthday.
Many loud cheers could be heard.
Powerful lights were sent by huge projectors on the Royal palace.
Images from the King's childhood up to nowadays were
projected on the palace facade. It shown the King's hardship
(visiting the farmers despite hot or raining weather, despite
floods, effort to help farmers to have bountiful rice crop...).
A movie projected on huge screen narrated the King's life including
his period as a monk and his wedding.
The event finished with beautiful fireworks
(จุดพลุ). All Thai people
carried a small candle (จุดเทียน)
to honor the King.
The spectacle finished at 10PM and had last 3 hours.
it was time for visitors to go home in their various provinces.
Fortunately there was no traffic jam as cars were not
allowed around the King palace area.