Pattaya officials, police and business leaders marked the 250th anniversary of the coronation of King Taksin the Great, who was adopted by the city as its honorary founding father.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome led the Dec. 28 “buangsruang” ceremony at the King Taksin the Great Monument in front of Pattaya City Hall after joining with civil servants to give alms to monks.
The early morning event saw the lighting of candles and incense to worship the Three Gems. Buddhist monks then performed a religious ceremony.
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 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.