A year after the “Father of Thailand” passed on, he remained in the forefront of Pattaya residents’ minds on Father’s Day.
The Dec. 5 birthday of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was always a public holiday in Thailand. But despite the ascension of HM King Rama X – whose own birthday is now a holiday – Father’s Day, now also known as Thai National Day, remained on the calendar as a day off for government and most private-sector workers.
While many also took Monday off to create a four-day weekend, the holiday was relatively sedate, with people dedicating themselves to community service and “doing good for Dad”.
Events included beach cleanups, sweeping roads and hosting fundraisers.
Pattaya Mayor Anan Charoenchasri led city officials and civil servants cleaning streets from the Dusit Thani Hotel to Walking Street.
The day also saw the opening of Banglamung’s “pracharat market” featuring 30 stalls where low-priced items were placed on sale for low-income families.
In Takhiantia, people promoted environmental conservation through cycling, with a parade of more than 300 bikes. The cyclists rode through Pattaya, Nongprue and back to Takhiantia.
Prayers and merit-making also were prevalent on the holiday. In Banglamung, District Chief Naris Niramaiwong led the area’s official Father’s Day merit-making ceremony, events that were mirrored at area temples.
A procession of 91 monks made its way through Pattaya, receiving alms that will be distributed to embattled temples in the Muslim-dominated South.
Services in five religions took place at the Sanctuary of Truth, where Pattaya City Manager Chanatpong Sriviset dedicated the proceedings to King Rama IX.
The Naklua landmark also hosted the ordination of 400 monks, who had their heads shaved and studied dharma until Dec. 9. Following the ceremony they set out in a long parade to collect alms through Naklua.