His Majesty the King’s 88th birthday marked with meritorious activities, good deeds and fireworks

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Fireworks punctuate the end of the national anthem, with singing being led by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city leaders, as thousands of people gathered at Bali Hai in South Pattaya to pay their highest respects and best wishes for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on the auspicious occasion of the 88th Royal Anniversary of His birth.  From alms offerings to monks to gifts of flowers from elephants, the Eastern Seaboard marked the 88th birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great with meritorious activities, good deeds and fireworks. 

From alms offerings to monks to gifts of flowers from elephants, the Eastern Seaboard marked the 88th birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great with meritorious activities, good deeds and fireworks.

In Pattaya, the celebration started with the annual Father’s Day parade, with participation from community groups and the city’s 11 public schools. The two-kilometer procession began at Royal Garden Plaza and marched down Walking Street to Bali Hai Pier, the site of the evening’s ceremony to honor His Majesty’s birthday.

Fireworks punctuate the end of the national anthem, with singing being led by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city leaders, as thousands of people gathered at Bali Hai in South Pattaya to pay their highest respects and best wishes for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on the auspicious occasion of the 88th Royal Anniversary of His birth.  From alms offerings to monks to gifts of flowers from elephants, the Eastern Seaboard marked the 88th birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great with meritorious activities, good deeds and fireworks. Fireworks punctuate the end of the national anthem, with singing being led by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city leaders, as thousands of people gathered at Bali Hai in South Pattaya to pay their highest respects and best wishes for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on the auspicious occasion of the 88th Royal Anniversary of His birth.  From alms offerings to monks to gifts of flowers from elephants, the Eastern Seaboard marked the 88th birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great with meritorious activities, good deeds and fireworks.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome lit the “tien chai” candles and held them above his head. The ceremony was well attended by thousands of local residents and public servants, nearly all of whom dressed in yellow, the color of royalty.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads all of Pattaya in presenting flowers and lightening candles to honor HM the King on his 88th Birthday.

Banglamung District held its own commemoration with District Chief Chakorn Kanchawattana leading the festivities. Nine monks were invited in the morning to chant and present flowers to a portrait of the King.

Other activities included merit-making by local residents and authorities alike.

A rousing fireworks display ends the day’s events at Bali Hai in South Pattaya.

Free motorbike taxi rides

A group of Pattaya motorbike-taxi drivers showed the true spirit of the day, offering free rides all day on Father’s Day.

The drivers based at the C.K. Pattaya Hotel on Pratamnak Road said they were offering free service to do a good deed for HM the King.

Taxi queue leader Sawong Ardchayasith, 54, said the 20 drivers gave free rides from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in return and to do goodness to dedicate to HM the King for good health and a long life.

People returned the favor by bringing the drivers food and drinks.

Other areas in Pattaya were packed as well during Father’s Day. Many hotels, shopping malls and organizations were seen lighting candles with people wearing yellow in respect for HM the King.

Elephant-sized celebration

At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, about 10,000 people turned out for the Najomtien park’s royal birthday celebration.

Director Kampol Tansajja led the ceremony to present flower cones and pay tribute to His Majesty’s portrait.

At Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens, three baby elephants, including this one, gave flowers to their father.

The event featured a parade of 15 elephants, dance, and presentation by a pachyderm of a flower garland to the King’s portrait. Three baby elephants also gave flowers to their father. In the finale, 10-year-old Yok painted a portrait of the King and his dog Thong Dang.

Sattahip

In Sattahip, Mayor Narong Bungbancherdsri and District Chief Noraset Sritapatso led the city’s main celebration on Dec. 4, leading 1,000 government workers and residents in a parade from Sattahip Temple through Sattahip Market to a community square at its center where a large portrait of His Majesty was displayed.

The mayor showed his respects by presenting a flower cone and offering royal tributes and lighted candles while the crowd sang the Royal Anthem and “Sadudee Maharacha”.

The event – held a day in advance of the District’s commemoration – concluded with fireworks and an 88-gun salute.

Noraset again was on the podium the next day for the district celebration, which began with alms offering to 89 monks from nine temple.

About 1,500 people wearing yellow then paraded from Sattahip Temple, past Lighthouse Circle to Prince Chumphon Park for the candle-lighting ceremony.

Among those taking part were disabled groups, the Elderly Club, Sattahip Red Cross, Local Reconciliation Center, and Districts Headmen’s Club.

The Royal Thai Navy held its own ceremonies, with Vice Adm. Thanakarn Kraikruan leading the Royal Thai Marines’ commemoration at its Prince Chumphon Camp.

He said that in the six decades since ascending to the throne, HM the King has dedicated himself to Thailand and its people’s well-being and happiness with his generosity, abilities and wishes.

Chonburi

In the provincial capital, Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai began a week of activities organized to honor His Majesty on his birthday with the mass ordination of monks at Yai Intraram Royal Temple in Muang District Dec. 3.

Samart Tiewpoonwong, Chonburi cultural officer, said Nawamin Rajinee Camp, Muang District, Baan Suan Sub-district, the Chonburi Buddhism Office, Intrapanya Municipal School and Baan Suan Jan Anusorn School jointly organized the week-long training for 55 men, including six soldiers from the 14th Military Circle, five from the 1st Infantry Battalion 21st Regiment, Queen’s Guard, seven from the 2nd Infantry Battalion 21st Regiment, Queen’s Guard, and 26 from government organizations and the public.

Youngsters dress in old fashioned clothing for the occasion

The dharma lessons, alms processions and ceremonies ran through Dec. 9.

Khomsan also presided over the Dec. 5 birthday events, which began with alms offerings to 89 monks at 7 a.m. The merit-making activity was joined by hundreds of Chonburi residents, offering dried foods the monks will redistribute to sick people in hospitals around the province and the poor.

Later, at Chalermprakiat Pavilion, was the annual Father’s Day ceremony, which began with felicitation, signing salutes to His Majesty, and oath-taking by government workers.

At 5.30 p.m., the worship and candle-lighting service began at the provincial hall.