Volunteers cleaned streets, cabbies gave free rides and people across Pattaya did good deeds to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of HM King Bhumibol.
From morning to night, somber Thais and foreigners dressed in black gave alms to monks, lit candles and prayed in remembrance of their beloved monarch, who will be cremated Oct. 26 after a year-long mourning period.
PATTAYA – Temples were jammed from 7 a.m. onward with Buddhists offering dried food and other necessities to make merit and teach their children about the legacy of King Rama IX.
Merit also was made at the Central Marina shopping center, where 89 monks from area temples received alms.
Pattaya Mayor Anan Charoenchasri led the city’s official commemoration outside city hall, inviting the public to plant marigolds and other yellow flowers to honor the late monarch.
As part of the ceremony, flags were lowered to half-mast, where they will remain through Oct. 27.
Across town at Chaimongkol Temple, Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong kicked off a major cleanup of the South Pattaya area where Pattaya’s Oct. 26 mirror ceremony will be held.
Naris said more than 17,000 people so far have registered to place artificial flowers on the temple’s scale model of the Bangkok funeral pyre.
Volunteers in Naklua also cleaned up their neighborhood in the late King’s name. Members of the Leam Rachavej Community teamed up with the Zign Hotel to pick up trash and tend the landscape in the savannas forests around Naklua Soi 12.
Pattaya taxi drivers also burnished their image by offering free metered-cab and baht bus service from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. as their effort to “do good for Dad”.
Children under the care of the Human Help Network Thailand also did their part, having planted marigolds that bloomed in time for Oct. 13.
HM the late King passed away Oct. 13, 2016 at 3:52 p.m. at age 89. The HHN network’s children and mourners assembled at Central Festival Pattaya Beach, and elsewhere in Pattaya, and followed the rest of the country in observing 89 seconds of silence at that moment.
Former City Councilman Rattanachai Sutidechanai led the Central Festival ceremony, leading mourners in prayer to the Three Gems and singing the late King’s compositions.
Other former elected officials joined business leaders and Pattaya’s administrators back at Chaimongkol Temple in the evening to conclude the day’s memorials with a candle-lighting ceremony led by Chonburi Deputy Dean of Monks Panyarattanaphon.
Candles also were lit at Kratingthong Temple in Jomtien Beach and Thamsamakee in South Pattaya, which both held their annual “kathin” festivals.