Bangkok resplendent in yellow for this weekend’s Royal Coronation

Decorations are adorn houses and buildings around Rattanakosin Island, lining the route of the Liap Phranakhon Royal procession, as people prepare to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. The last time Bangkokians welcomed a newly-coronated King was on May 7, 1950.

With help and funds from City Hall for renovation and decoration, properties along the route look new and lively.

Portraits of His Majesty proclaiming “Long Live the King”, along with yellow flags sporting the royal emblem, can be seen everywhere along the Rattanakosin Island streets and elsewhere around the capital.

While many shops are decorated with yellow flags and portraits of the King, one building stands at a corner of Asadang Road and Bamrung Mueang Road, attracting bystanders not only for its old structure and classic architecture but also for displaying a series of large photos of His Majesty in the windows.

Mana Aubattikrn, contractor and caretaker of the building, said that while renovating the building, he was approached by Phra Nakhon district director Wuthichai Boonsith who wanted to decorate the building for the coronation.

“The director gave me those photos from his personal budget. I put them on the old wooden window shutters on the second and third floors, and now the building looks so striking,” said Mana.

The 22 photos depict King Rama X from his childhood to adulthood.

Bangkok resplendent in yellow for this weekend's Royal Coronation | News by Thaiger Bangkok resplendent in yellow for this weekend's Royal Coronation | News by Thaiger

Built in 1896 during King Rama V’s reign, the edifice was named the Fazal Building and housed the EM Katib department store in those days, Mana said. The store sold cut-glass containers, porcelain and perfumes imported from Europe.

Mana said his boss had acquired the building three years ago and planned to turn it into a cafe. Once the renovation is completed, he plans to display all the King’s portraits on the second floor for young generations to see and know their history.

The coronation of the 66 year old monarch will run from tomorrow through Monday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the historic event, capping a weekend of coronation ceremonies.

Forty roads around Rattanakosin Island are closed to traffic until Monday. While shops along the route are allowed to open for business as usual, they have been asked by the authorities to keep their display neat and clean in honour of the event.

Thiwawan Songsaeng, a 48 year old shop caretaker, said her massage shop on Feung Nakhon road will be open for business on the day, adding that since the procession will pass by quite late in the evening, she will be able to watch it.

She added that the authorities have said the staff in the shop can wear their uniforms as usual, and that it was not necessary to dress in yellow.

The procession will take a 7-kilometre route from the Grand Palace, stopping at Wat Bovoranives, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho), and is expected to take around six hours. The King will disembark the palanquin at these temples to pay his respects at the main ubosot and to the ashes of his ancestors.

Bangkok resplendent in yellow for this weekend's Royal Coronation | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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