Festivals and Holidays
Thais celebrate Coronation Day with 3 days of lavish celebrations in Bangkok, the nation’s capital, and elsewhere around the Kingdom. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was coronated on 5 May 1950.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned as Rama IX on 5 March 1950. This day is actually the 3rd day of a 3-day celebration, which began on 3 May. Savvy Thais took Friday off in order to score a 4 day weekend.
The celebration begins on 3 May, when Buddhist monks hold a solemn service in the Grand Palace, which overlooks the Chao Praya River – a.k.a the River of Kings – in the heart of Bangkok. Chanting, rituals, and prayers take place on the 2nd day.
On the 3rd day, the King opens several quarters of the Grand Palace that are usually off-limits to the public and changes into the robe of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew, the Buddhist temple inside the palace compound.
Buddhist monks are served a feast. At 12 noon, the Royal Thai Army and Navy both give 21 gun salutes. The King awards medals decorations to deserving Thai citizens later in the day.
Built in the late 18th Century, the Grand Palace was originally the official residence of the King of Siam, as Thailand used to be known
While Thai Kings have not lived in the Grand Palace since 1925, it is still used for official events. It is also one of Thailand’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Grand Palace is actually a complex of several buildings. While the grounds of many of the buildings are open to the general public throughout the year, on n Coronation Day, additional access is permitted.
The King actually ascended to the throne in June 1946. Because he was only 18 at the time, he returned to Switzerland to complete his studies, returning to Thailand in May 1950 for his official coronation.