Special Report: His Majesty the King as Father of the Nation


December 5 of each year marks one of the most significant days for Thai people – the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The day, which is a public holiday, is also observed as Thailand’s National Day and National Father’s Day. Thai people celebrate this auspicious occasion on a grand scale to show gratitude to their beloved monarch. 

His Majesty is regarded as the symbol of unity and social harmony in Thai society. The love, respect, homage, and joy pouring forth from Thai people to honor His Majesty have been well-documented in Thai society. Each year on His Majesty’s birthday, festivities are held throughout the Kingdom; lights decorate households, government offices, public places, and private companies everywhere.

His Majesty is sometimes referred to by his subjects as Pho Luang or the royal father. He has spent his life working for the benefit of his people, who are all considered his children. The close relationship between him and his subjects truly reflects the family tradition in Thai society. Everywhere he goes throughout Thailand, local residents have consistently gathered to catch a glimpse of him and to chant “Long Live the King” in unison.

This year, His Majesty the King will grant a public audience to members of the Royal Family and government officials on the occasion of his 86th birthday at the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province. According to the Bureau of the Royal Household, the audience will take place at the Rajapracha Samakhom Pavilion at 10.30 a.m. on December 5.

Apart from the ceremony of offering good wishes to His Majesty the King by members of the Royal Family and government officials, the Royal Guards will also attend a ceremony to take an oath of allegiance on this special occasion. The event will be broadcast live on state radio and television.

His Majesty has also been recognized as the great “Musician King” and has produced a total of 48 musical compositions. He plays music as a personal vehicle of expression and as a royal instrument of communication with his subjects. ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners, including China and South Korea, are joining Thailand in a cultural festival entitled “ASEAN in Praise of the Supreme Artist” held in honor of His Majesty’s birthday this year. The festival which is taking place from December 1-8 at Siam Paragon features classical and musical performances. Cultural performances are also scheduled to be held in other major provinces, such as Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Songkhla.

His Majesty the King was born on December 5, 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He officially became King Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty on June 9, 1946. He is the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in history. Thailand celebrates the 67th anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne this year as well as his 86th birthday anniversary.