Pattaya, Chonburi prepare for HM the Queen’s 80th birthday

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Pattaya will employ parades, candles and awards in its contribution to a national celebration of HM Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday.

Events will play out for a week surrounding the Queen’s Aug. 12 birthday, which doubles at Thailand’s Mother’s Day, with Chonburi devoting time to Her Majesty’s passion for nature and Bangkok going all out for the pomp and pageantry.

Thousands of loyal subjects turned out for the Mother’s Day parade last year. Thousands of loyal subjects turned out for the Mother’s Day parade last year.

Festivities in Pattaya kick off Aug 11 with the Pattaya Cultural Council’s “Outstanding Mother Awards” at Central Festival Pattaya Beach at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. the next day, the Beach Road parade to Bali Hai Pier begins, followed by the city’s official birthday celebration at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome will preside over the flower presentation and candle lighting ceremonies. More than 300 fireworks will cap the event.

In Chonburi, Gov. Khomsan Ekachai will preside over the alms offering ceremony at 6:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at Phuttasihing Hall, followed by a birthday-wish signing ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the Royal Pavilion. At 9 a.m. Khomsan will lead the cattle redemption ceremony to honor HM the Queen. Finally, that evening, Chonburi will host a flower and candle ceremony.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has declared Aug. 9-16 as the government’s celebration week. Scheduled events include the planting of 800 tree saplings on Aug. 8, a card-signing activity at Siriraj Hospital, and an exhibition on the Queen’s life, royal missions Thai silk at the Central World mall Aug. 9-15. Her Majesty is expected to attend Aug. 9. Alms offering and candle lighting will take place at Sanam Luang on Aug. 12.

Finally, an honorary classical-music concert will be held at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center Sept. 5.

HM the Queen’s birthday is a national holiday, but since this year August 12 is a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on Monday, August 13, and as such, government offices and many business offices will be closed in observance of this special day.  However, currency exchange booths will remain open.