Pattaya commemorates King Taksin Day

Friday, 03 January 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 1

Pattaya officials and business leaders marked the 244th anniversary of the coronation of King Taksin the Great, who was adopted by Pattaya as its founding father.

The five-hour ceremony at the King Taksin the Great Monument in front of Pattaya City Hall Dec. 28 was led by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and attended by businesspeople and club members. Both Hindu and Buddhist observances were made, with Tomayantee presiding over the Hindu part and 10 monks changing Buddhist mantras to offer blessings to the HM King.

King Taksin the Great.King Taksin the Great.

The ceremony started around 7 a.m. with the lighting of candles and incense to worship the “Three Gems.” Buddhist monks then performed a religious ceremony, which was followed by a worship ceremony. This was followed by Thai dance and Muay Thai boxing demonstrations.

After the show, all local officials, along with state and private representatives presented flower trays in front of the King Taksin Monument.

Somdet Phrachao Taksin Maharaj was born April 17, 1734 and became the only King of the Thonburi Kingdom, taking the throne Dec. 28, 1768 and reigning until his death - and the start of the current Chakri Dynasty in 1782. He is greatly revered by Thais for leadership in liberating Siam from Burmese occupation after the second fall of capital Ayutthaya in 1767, and the subsequent unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords.

He established the city of Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River from the current Bangkok, as the new capital, as Ayutthaya had been almost completely destroyed by invaders. His reign was characterized by numerous wars fought to repel new Burmese invasions and to subjugate the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, the Laotian principalities and Cambodia.

Upon coronation at age 34, he assumed the official name of Boromraja IV, but is known in Thai history as King Taksin, a combination of his popular name, Phya Tak, and his first name, Sin, or the King of Thonburi.

Taksin’s father was at least partly Chinese and his mother Siamese. He was said to believe that even the forces of nature were under his control and this faith led him to attempt tasks which others called impossible. He never had time, however, to build Thonburi into a great city, as he was fully occupied with suppression of internal and external enemies, as well as territorial expansion throughout his reign.

Taksin’s ties to the Pattaya area stem from 1767, when he somehow battled his way out of a besieged Ayutthaya and fled to Chonburi and Rayong to raise an army of 500 to return to free the capital.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads city officials in commemorating King Taksin Day at city hall/Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads city officials in commemorating King Taksin Day at city hall/

In 1981 the Thai Cabinet passed a resolution to bestow on King Taksin the honorary title of “the Great.” The date of his coronation, Dec. 28, is the official day of homage to the king, although it is not designated as a public holiday.

Chonburi marked King Taksin Day with public officials and residents joining Gov. Komsan Ekachai in laying flowers at the King Taksin the Great Monument there.

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