Thailand doesn’t do anything by halves so at the end of the year, the region has a festive month to celebrate the life of King Bhumibol. Talking of celebrations, if you want to have Christmas dinner, Oxfordshire has some great restaurants like Banana Tree who serve delicious dishes like Sticky Thai Wings and Aromatic Pho.
King Bhumibol’s Birthday
The late King’s birthday is celebrated every year, even though he passed away in October 2016. His birthday lands on the 5th December and as a King he was dearly loved by his people. It’s now a national holiday and is also known as National Father’s Day. You’ll find plenty of photographs of the Bhumibol up around schools and buildings to pay tribute. A lot of Thai locals believe that colour influences luck so it’s usual to see that many will wear a particular colour each week. On Monday, they wear yellow which was also the King’s favourite colour. It’s for that reason that the colour yellow will play a big part on the day of the King’s birthday.
Bhumibol was the world’s largest reigning monarchy and the people of Thailand loved him so much that they declared an official state of mourning for the entire year. Their profound devotion to him probably came from a speech he made back in 1950 where he promised to eliminate hardships of all those in Thailand regardless of their race and religion. Throughout his reign he did just that, strengthening the country and unifying its people.
Traditions and Activities
There are plenty of traditions that take place on this day. Locals will wear the colour yellow and there will yellow flags, lights and other decorations put up all over the buildings and homes of the country. Religious ceremonies will take place throughout the day, with a display of elaborate fireworks let off in the evening. Friends and families will also gather to eat together in celebration of the King.
Thailand’s Constitution Day also takes place a few days later on December 10th. This day commemorates Thailand changing into the regime ofconstitutional monarchy in 1932. The government also promotes several activities on this day that help Thai people understand the constitution and how it works. The hope is that the future generations will take an interest and actively participate in voting for important changes to the country’s laws or leaders.
Locals will often take off a few days so they can celebrate both the King’s birthday and the Constitution Day. Part of the celebrations on Constitution Day include the parades and of course, a display of fireworks in the evening. Another must-see is the Democracy Monument in Bangkok which has an image of the Constitution of 1932 at the top and is surrounded by a platform base of golden wings.
As most Thai locals don’t partake in any Christmas traditions, don’t expect a traditional Christmas dinner or any Christmas parties whilst your there. But that’s great if you want to escape the festive craze altogether. Thailand should certainly be your next bucket list destination and December is the perfect time to go.