A week-long celebration of HM the King’s 88th birthday will climax Saturday with a parade, religious ceremony and fireworks in Pattaya.
The annual Father’s Day parade will run from Royal Garden to Bali Hai pier Dec. 5, with groups lining up starting at 4 p.m. and the procession getting underway at 5:30 p.m. It’s expected the procession will be so long it will stretch back to Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
Floats will carry flower cones and incense trays, followed by school marching bands. In all, 39 organizations will be represented. Everyone participating will receive a national flag.
Traffic on Beach Road will be closed from the Central Road intersection southward from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
At 7 p.m., the public and the parade participants will assemble at Bali Hai Pier, where they will offer their flower cones to a portrait of His Majesty, followed by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and honorary guests, who will do the same.
Performances from various Pattaya schools will follow, along with the singing of the royal and national anthems before a grand fireworks show.
Activities to honor His Majesty actually got underway Dec. 2, when 89 young men shaved their heads in the first step toward becoming monks.
Following the hair-cutting, the novices were presented their monk robes in preparation for the following day’s ceremony at Jittapawan Wittayalai Temple. They had their initial ordinations in the afternoon at several area temples.
The ordination process continues Friday with in an alms-collecting parade Friday evening through North Pattaya and Naklua. On Dec. 5, monk Chinnakorn Kairaj will host the final ordination ceremony with alms to be gathered again on Dec. 6.
Training will continue at area temples over the next several days, with the young monks’ required service ending on Dec. 11. Of course, they are given the option to continue.