Factbox: Funeral of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej

06-Oct-2017 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The funeral of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was known as Rama IX, will take place over five days in October with hundreds of thousands of mourners expected to attend.

For many Thais it will be their first experience of a royal funeral of a monarch. King Bhumibol ruled Thailand for more than seven decades and was widely regarded as the nation’s moral compass during decades of on-off political unrest.

King Bhumibol, 88, died on October 13, 2016. The country has been in an official year of mourning since then with many Thais choosing to wear black.

Thai Buddhists often wait a week or more before cremating their dead but royal funerals are exceptional.

Below are details of the royal cremation. * The royal cremation ceremony will last from October 25 toOctober 29, with the actual cremation day October 26, which has beendeclared a public holiday. * A quarter of a million people are expected to attend the cremation, according to the government. * The site of the royal funeral ceremony includes eightstructures meant to symbolise mountainsancient Thai beliefssay these structures are the edge of the universe. * One of the eight structures, Mount Meru, represents theabode of the gods in Hindu tradition. The structures will bedecorated with ornaments of various gods and goddesses. * Seven different types of sandalwood flowers will be usedin the cremation as ancient Thais believed that the sandalwoodfragrance will lead the soul of the deceased to heaven. * There will be a series of ceremonies and processionstransfering the urn and relics to and from the crematorium. * For those unable to attend the king’s funeral, there willbe 85 miniature replicas of the royal cremation site throughoutthe country. * A total of 11.9 million Thais have paid their respects tothe late king at the Grand Palace in Bangkok since last October,the palace said. * The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha are nowclosed to visitors and will be off limits to tourists until October30. Thailand’s tourism body has said other tourist attractionsacross Thailand will remain open as usual.



Category: Thailand

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