HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s birthday will be celebrated with a public holiday on July 28, the same day that Buddhists observe Vassa, which marks the beginning of annual Khao Phansa rains retreat, when many novices enter the monkhood for three months during the rainy season.
Immediately preceding both occasions, on July 27, is the important Buddhist religious day Asarnha Bucha, honouring the Buddha's first discourse. Asarnha Bucha is commemorated in Thailand with a special public holiday during which no alcohol sales are allowed.
To mark the month of special events, the government is calling on households, workplaces and government offices to be decorated from July 1 with images of HM The King and national flags together with Royal Standards of the monarchy. Thai flags are to be set at the right side of the buildings and flags of the monarchy are to be set at the left.
Community projects to honour the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej under the banner “Volunteer for canal and life development on sufficiency for benefit and happiness of the people” will be held through all provinces during the month, and there will be special religious ceremonies at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on July 22-28.
A special multi-faith religious ceremony for charity will be held at the Santimaitri Building, Government House, on Thursday, July 26.
A national cleanup day held in honour of HM The King, with the event led by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, will be held near Government House also on July 26, with separate Big Cleaning Day projects conducted in every province across the country on Saturday, July 28.
As part of the celebrations, the government has requested the Royal Family to lead a Royal Blessing Ceremony to honour His Majesty the King by inviting 243 monks to attend a ceremony at the Royal Court at Dusit Palace.
A merit-making ceremony will be held nationwide at the same time, 7am, on Saturday, July 28. In Bangkok, the ceremony will involve involving 670 monks and novices and will be held at Sanam Luang, but in the provinces the ceremony will be held at the Provincial Hall.
Similarly, leading government officials and representatives from the private industry and foundations, as well as members of the public will be invited to pay their respects to images of HM The King nationwide from 5pm Saturday, July 28. In Bangkok, the ceremony will be held at Sanam Luang, while in each province the ceremony will be held at the Provincial Hall.
Also held simultaneously nationwide from 7pm on Saturday, July 28, will be a candle-lighting blessing ceremony in the name of the Thai people. Again, in Bangkok the ceremony will be held at Sanam Luang, while in the provinces the main ceremony will be held at the Provincial Hall, but may also be held at other appropriate places.
As part of the celebrations, the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office together with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will host a trade skills fair at Sanam Luang on July 27-28. The event will include free job training and a free household appliance repair service as well as stalls selling Thai desserts and herbal juice health drinks, cheap food and drinks from food trucks and Blue Flag products.
The Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office also noted in an official release, “All Thai people are invited to participate in the activities on the birthday of His Majesty the King on July 28 and dress in yellow throughout July.
“However, as this year HM The King's birthday falls on a religious holiday, Buddhists can dress in white as is tradition.”