King Bhumibol’s birthday on Dec. 6 is a famous Thai public holiday marked in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had been the longest-reigning monarch of the nation and also the father of the current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn. Also known as Thailand’s National Day and Father’s Day, the day is commemorated with music and dance events as Celebration Observance Buildings are decorated with lights, flags, and portraits of the late king.
On this day, Thai streets are lined with strings of marigold flowers while schools and many businesses remain closed. People spill onto the streets to soak in the festive spirit.
Thailand is at its best during December as it is King Bhumibol’s birthday month. Therefore, many tourists choose to visit the land during this time. The celebrations are at peak on this day but the festive mood lasts for the whole month.
A brief history of King Bhumibol and his reign:
King Bhumibol, also known as Rama IX, sat on the throne from June 9, 1946, until his death in October 2016. During his reign, he amassed a lot of love from his countrymen for being a compassionate king who maintained a positive stance toward democracy throughout his royal stint. Bhumibol, hailing from the Chakri dynasty of Thailand, also acquired the title of the third-longest reigning sovereign monarch after King Louis XIV and Queen Elizabeth II. Some of the king’s notable political achievements include impeding a possible civil war in 1992 by a widespread military crackdown on mass demonstrations and his relentless battle against illegal narcotics taking a toll on the nation’s youth.
Before assuming the duty of the head of state, Bhumibol pursued a degree in law and political science and also trained in Jazz music.
The king passed away in 2016 after his health started to decline consistently. After being hospitalized on several occasions, Bhumibol breathed his last on Oct. 13, 2016, in Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital. Since then, the people of Bangkok have been celebrating his birthday.
On this day, here are some quotes by the king that speak volumes about his acumen as a ruler. (Courtesy: A to Z quotes)
- “A good person can make another person good; it means that goodness will elicit goodness in the society; other persons will also be good.”
- “Everyone must correct his own self; this is something more difficult to cope with, but it is not impossible.”
- “The important thing for the survival of the Thai society is that the majority of those who work, both in the government and the private sector, still strive to work in the same direction; this is why the Thai nation still stands.”
- “The will to work of everyone in the country is the best guarantee of national survival.”
- “In Thailand’s history there have been dissensions from time to time, but in general, unity has prevailed.”