Now the formal year of mourning is almost over and the King's funeral will take place Oct 26 with many ceremonies over a series of 5 days. Starting October first, we noticed many changes in Bangkok-the BTS only plays soft music while scenes from the King's life show on the monitors instead of the usual raucous commercials. All photos and videos in newspapers, online and on news shows are in black and white. The King's other name, Rama IX, show up at night on buildings, and there is a brisk business for special t-shirts in black with his symbol on it. (We bought them also)
Here are some of the signs of respect around the city:
In the BTS stations- scenes from his life
On the sides of Malls
Here is a beautiful memorial with the number "9"
in marigolds for Rama IX
Shrines at small businesses
In our local Tesco grocery store
In lights, the number 9
Siam Paragon mall had a spectacular memorial-
and also a large display of his many Royal projects
(over 4800) that helped Thailand and his grateful subjects
At every mall there were stands set up for people to make paper flowers for the funeral- there were ALWAYS people making them, day or night. They must have made millions.
October 13 was the anniversary of the King's death and a national holiday. The new King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun honored his father at the making merit ceremonies in the Grand Palace Throne room.
During the ceremony, monks chanted and the King gave out robes. See the photos above and below show the monks with their ceremonial fans.
Next week start the 5 days of ceremonies and rituals. Here is a how to see all the information, from maps, photos of the royal chariots, explanation of processions to timelines:
www.bangkokpost.com and choose the left button.
The city is preparing for hundreds of thousands of visitors from around Thailand to view the funeral-we will watch live on TV and hunker down as EVERYTHING will be closed. We share the sadness of the Thai people over the loss of their King.
Until next time, Audrey