The first Father’s Day without Thailand’s father for the past 70 years was a somber one in Pattaya, with no parades, most people in black mourning dress and merit-making replacing fireworks.
Pattaya City Hall dropped plans for the usual parade and Bali Hai Pier fireworks party, but the private sector didn’t let HM the late King’s birthday go unnoticed Dec. 5, staging their own religious ceremonies to mark the day.
Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset and city council members attended a 7 a.m. ordination of 89 monks, who then marched through the area collecting alms.
Banglamung District held a massive merit-making ceremony of its own, allowing people to give rice and dried foods to monks in honor of HM King Bhumibol.
Other companies held art exhibitions, charity fundraisers and more in an effort to “Do good for Dad”.
Private citizens also did their part, offering free motorbike taxi rides. Kriengkrai Kaewkong, a driver outside Chaimongkol Temple, said drivers there offering free rides from noon until midnight to honor the late monarch.
Ten baht bus drivers also did the same.
The drivers said it was the least they could do to repay the kindness and generosity the late King showed Thais for seven decades.