Thousands of residents flocked to government ceremonies and Eastern Seaboard shorelines to make merit and replenish the environment for HM Queen Sirikit’s 85th birthday.
Pattaya’s main commemoration took place Aug. 12 at the King Rama V monument outside the Banglamung District office where chief Naris Niramaiwong and Pattaya Mayor Anan Charoenchasri presided over the “Rajasakara” garland-laying ceremony.
At 7:19 p.m., the officials lit candles and observed a moment of silence, during which the thousands gathered made their prayers on behalf of HM the Queen of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before together singing “Sadudee Maharajani”.
Elsewhere in Pattaya, Bangkok Hospital Pattaya launched a series of three workshops during the Queen’s birthday week in her honor.
The series kicked off with Healthy Lady 2017 on Aug. 10 in which hospital staffers and the public created fancy potted jasmine to give as Mother’s Days gifts. Many children participated with an eye toward their Aug. 12 gift to mom.
The series continues in September with Korean-style nail painting and flower arranging.
Growing your own jasmine proved to be a popular choice this year, as the prices for mature flowers went sky-high for the holiday.
Thanawan Plapol, owner of Jeed Floral in Naklua, said there was a serious shortage of the popular “dog mali” this year, sending prices as high as 3,000 baht a kilogram.
She said she put out 800,000 baht this year for 50 crates of jasmine because, even with high prices, people still wanted their jasmine garlands for Mother’s Day. Thanawan was selling readymade garlands for 250 baht, five times the normal price.
Other shops selling commemorative shirts for HM the Queen’s birthday also suffered a bit, as many people still preferred to wear black until the one-year morning period for HM the late King ends in October.
At the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, hotel executives hosted a Mother’s Day dinner featuring singing and photo taking.
At Central Festival Pattaya Beach, the Pattaya Cultural Council hosted a Mother’s Day-themed painting and essay contest. In addition, the mall presented 62 awards to “outstanding” pairs mothers and children.
Central Festival capped off the day with a candle-lighting ceremony after dark.
The event also saw activities for adults and kids alike, including garland making, fruit-carving and cooking demonstrations. Moreover, gifts were provided for all youths participating in the event.
Pattaya School No. 8 passed on the kids’ games and made its Mother’s Day event one from the heart.
Third-grade students were randomly selected to tell how they felt their mothers and many didn’t shy away from the challenge.
Tharathip Somtua said she lives with her grandmother because her mom works upcountry and has no time to visit. She said that didn’t make her love her mother less and appreciated that she worked hard for her children and promised to study hard to make her proud.
Thidarat Charoenkong said she has a deep bond with her mother. She said her mother was very strict, but she never gets mad at her. She said she looked forward to the time when she could return her mother’s kindness by taking care of her.
Throughout her 85 years, HM the Queen has always made environmental conservation her main cause and, this year, like every year, eastern organizations replenished the sea and forests in her name.
At Jittapawan Collage, 59 cows and buffalos were spared from slaughter and 10,000 snails, fish, frogs and other marine life were released into the wild. The spared cattle will be given to poor farming families around the country in the Queen’s name.
In Sattahip, Rear Adm. Eagarat Promlumpug, commander the navy’s Air and Coastal Defense Command, led sailors, students and members of the public in planting 2,910 mangrove trees.
The ACDC’s main mangrove forest received 860 saplings while Special Work Unit 321 got 150 trees, the ACDC’s operations unit 1,700 trees, and operation unit 591 another 200 trees.
In Chonburi, Col. Tatsanai Prathumthong, deputy director of the army’s Internal Security Operations Command, presided over the release of 400,000 fish and marine animals into the Khlong Luang Ratchalothorn Reservoir in Koh Chan.
About 200 military and government personnel, village headmen and the public took part in the Aug. 11 release.
The next day, Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai led the province’s main commemoration of the Queen’s birthday, a merit-making ceremony for Chonburi Red Cross and local government officials and the public.
The crowd offered dried food to 86 monks, who will pass on the food to monks hospitalized throughout the province.