The Pattaya region marked 100 days since the passing of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej with prayers, merit-making and more than a few tears.
Maj. Gen. Santipong Dhammapiya, deputy commander of the 1st Army Region, presided over the area’s largest commemoration at Bali Hai Pier Jan. 20 with top city, district and provincial officials on hand.
He presented flower cones and incense then offered the mourning speech to the crowd, who sang the national anthem at 6 p.m.
A “card stunt” saw the audience hold up colored placards to create group artwork and students from Pattaya schools 4 and 11 played “Candlelight Blues” before the Maha Chanok troupe took the stage for a contemporary dance performance.
The crowd then observed 89 seconds of silence before a ballad-like recitation for the “Father of Royal Rain”.
Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai followed with the singing of HM the late King’s “Falling Rain” and the ceremony closed with candle-lighting, singing of the royal anthem and another card stunt.
Before he took the stage at Bali Hai, Pakarathorn presided over Chonburi Province’s 100-days ceremony at Praphutasingh Shrine.
The governor and his lieutenants led police, military, local vendors, residents and students in giving alms. Thousands were present to show their love and loyalty to the late King.
That evening meditation services took place Yai Intararam Temple in Muang District and Yanwararam Woramahawiharn Temple in Banglamung District.
Alms were given again Jan. 21 with a meal provided to monks afterward at Yai Inatararam.
Nongprue’s separate “Satamawan” ceremony took place at the sub-district office with Mayor Mai Chaiyanit serving as emcee.
Monks from Sutthawat Temple led by Taworn Tanwaro, deputy ecclesiastical chief for Banglamung District, accepted alms from hundreds of people attending.
In Sattahip, 145 sailors did more than just give alms to monks, they became ordained as one.
Adm. Sucheep Whoungmaitree, commander of the Royal Thai Fleet, chaired the head-shaving ceremony Jan. 19.
Paowana Prachanart, abbot of Khao Bam Phenboon Temple was the preceptor at the sermon hall with top district and Royal Thai Navy officials looking on.
The monks will serve until Jan. 29 to dedicate themselves to the memory of the late monarch. They will study dharma and learn lessons they can carry with them once their stint is complete.
Elsewhere at the Sattahip Naval Base, other sailors joined to perform a card stunt spelling out the Thai number 9 to honor King Rama IX.
Base commander Vice Adm. Noppadol Supakorn oversaw the Jan. 20 formation in front 1,000 people, including top district official and students.
The sailors also sang “The Impossible Dream” and the royal anthem before 89 pairs of birds were released and 40,000 fish set free.