Friday, August 12, 2016

The Queen's Birthday

Thai students in traditional outfits participate in a candlighting ceremony for Her Majesty. 

August 12 is the birthday of Queen Sirikit. It's also celebrated as Mother's Day in Thailand. There are merit making ceremonies, historic pageants and candle lighting ceremonies to honor the Queen throughout Thailand. 
A local government official makes an offering at a ceremony honoring the Queen in Benchasiri Park, near Emporium, one of Bangkok's most upscale shopping malls. 

Tens of thousands of people throughout Thailand participate in the ceremonies. The Royal Family is revered by the overwhelming majority of Thais and the birthdays of the Queen and King are very important holidays. 

Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, is the longest reigning monarch in the world, and his wife, Queen Sirikit, is the longest serving consort in the world. 
A children's choir waits to perform at the ceremony.

Bhumibol Adulyadej is the ninth King in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama IX), which has reigned in Thailand since 1782. Rama I, the first king of the Chakri Dynasty, established Bangkok as the capital of Siam. Ramas IV and V (the fourth and fifth Kings of the Chakri Dynasty) maintained Siamese independence while British and French forces were colonizing the countries around Siam(Siam changed its name to Thailand in 1949). It's hard to imagine a modern Thailand without the presence of the Chakri Dynasty. 
People light candle to honor Her Majesty.

Women hold their candles aloft towards the end of the ceremony. 

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