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Remembrances of King Rama IX held at Siriraj Hospital, Rajabopit Temple

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Ceremonies marked the fifth anniversary of the death of King Rama IX. (via Wikimedia)

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (also known as King Rama IX), Thailand’s leader and the second-longest ruler of any country of all time. Across the nation, people are paying their respects to the much-loved previous King and commemorating the anniversary of his death.

The dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Mahidol University held a ceremony in front of Siriraj Hospital, where King Rama IX received much of his medical treatment in the time leading up to his death. The courtyard was adorned with two large portraits of the late King where the dean led a group of executives, doctors, nurses, and members of the public in a religious ceremony at 6:30 am.

The dean oversaw a presentation of alms and other necessities receive by 10 monks who then guided prayer chanting in tribute to the beloved King. After, many of the executives read statements of praise in order to pay respect in front of a portrait of King Rama IX. Hundreds of spectators gathered to observe the ceremony, dressed in white or yellow in honour of the King.

Rajabopit Temple also held a significant ceremony with Minister of Interior Anupong Paochinda hosting a wreath-laying ceremony. The Supreme Patriarch held a saffron robe offering ceremony as a fundraiser for scholarships for Thai monks started by King Rama IX.

Provincial offices across Thailand I’ve also been holding commemoration ceremonies in honour of the adored Thai King. Many provinces hostel garland-laying events and observed 89 seconds of silence in honour of the 89 years the King lived before his death 5 years ago. Face masks and social distancing for Covid-19 safety were observed at all official events.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne in 1946 and after the death of Emperor Hirohito of Japan in 1989, he was the longest-serving current monarch until his death in 2016, holding power for 70 years and 126 days. He was 88 years old at the time of his death. The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth took the throne in 1952, 6 years after the Thai king, and has now reigned for 69 years, making her now the oldest living and longest-serving current monarch in the world, 4th of all time after Louis XIV, King Rama IX, and Johann II of Liechtenstein.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World and National News Bureau of Thailand


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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