East celebrates King Taksin Day

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Eastern region officials, soldiers, police and business leaders marked the 247th anniversary of the coronation of King Taksin the Great, who was adopted by Pattaya as its founding father.

Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset led the Dec. 28 “buangsruang” ceremony at the King Taksin the Great Monument in front of Pattaya City Hall. The early morning event saw 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.

Celebrations of King Taksin Day included demonstrations of traditional Thai boxing, sword fighting, and more in front of the King Taksin monument at Pattaya City Hall.
Celebrations of King Taksin Day included demonstrations of traditional Thai boxing, sword fighting, and more in front of the King Taksin monument at Pattaya City Hall.

To lighten up the occasion, a traditional dance show was performed as well as demonstrations of traditional Thai boxing, sword fighting and more.

Chonburi also marked the occasion, with Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai hosting a similar ceremony outside Chonburi City Hall, and at Yai Intaram Temple, which handed out 246,000 baht in scholarships to needy children following its worship ceremony.

Students from 20 schools collected the 189 scholarships. Of the total, 114 were 1,000-baht stipends for elementary school pupils, 62 were worth 1,500 baht for high school students, and thirteen 3,000-baht awards went for higher education.

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.

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 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.