Chonburi celebrated King Taksin the Great Day with a traditional merit-making ceremony.
Gov. Khomsan Ekachai presided over the Dec. 28 ceremony in front of the King Taksin monument, laying flower wreaths and garlands with members of the public.
Elsewhere, Yai Intaram Temple solicited charity donations in a ceremony led by former abbot Jaowrat Phutto. The money will go to underprivileged students for their education. About 230,000 baht was raised and will support 18 schools with 177 scholarships.
Gov. Khomsan Ekachai presided over the King Taksin the Great ceremony in front of the King Taksin monument in Chonburi, where he also handed over funds raised for scholarships to support local 18 schools.
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 has 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.
In 1981, the 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.