Sixth Cycle Birthday Celebration of HM King Rama X

Thailand is set to organize a series of events throughout the year to commemorate the 72nd birthday anniversary of His Majesty King Rama X.
Thailand
01 January 2024

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Thailand is set to organize “The Celebration on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King’s 6th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 28th July 2024,” which involves a series of events throughout the year to commemorate the 72nd birthday anniversary of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua (Rama X). 

Many of the celebrations will spotlight His Majesty the King’s many accomplishments and contributions to the people of Thailand, as well as activities befitting the monarchy’s cultural and spiritual leadership. In 2024, visitors to Thailand can expect to see buildings and public places festooned in yellow and white to mark the occasion.

Royal Events in 2024
1. Feb 24 – Mar 3: Sanam Luang Ceremony to Enshrine Buddha Relics
2. Oct 27: Royal Barge Procession for Royal Kathin Ceremony
3. Mar 18 – July 28: Buddhist Rites and Merit Making
4. Check back for more announcements.

Invitation to pay homage to the Relics of the Lord Buddha (February 24th to March 18th, 2024)

A ceremony has been held to invite the relics of the Lord Buddha and his two disciples from India and temporarily enshrine them at the Sanam Luang ceremonial grounds. The event was attended by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, related committee members, and representatives from various agencies and was made possible through collaboration between Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, the National Museum of Bangkok, and the Embassy of India in Bangkok.

The Buddhist relics at the Sanam Luang have been made available to the public to pay homage from February 24th to March 3rd, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. People attending are encouraged to wear Thai traditional clothing or formal white attire.

Afterward, there will be ceremonies to invite the Buddhist relics to other regions of Thailand, as follows: 

  • Northern Thailand at the Grand Pavilion (Hor Kham Luang) in Royal Park Rajapruek, Chiang Mai from March 5th–8th.
  • Northeast Thailand (Isan) at Maha Wanaram Temple in Ubon Ratchathani from March 10th–13th.
  • Southern Thailand at the Maha That Wachiramongkol Temple (Wat Bang Thong) in Krabi from March 15th–18th.
The invitation banner to pay homage to the Relics of the Lord Buddha on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King's 6th Cycle Birthday Anniversary

Buddhist rites and merit making (March 18th to July 28th, 2024)

The Prime Minister’s Office has launched a countrywide initiative involving Buddhist rites every Monday leading up to His Majesty the King’s birthday on July 28th. This initiative is a fusion of Thailand’s devout Buddhism and its deep-rooted reverence for the monarchy, aiming to bring together Buddhists in a collective act of merit making for the King. 

Not only are temples within the country invited to participate, but Thai temples around the world are also encouraged to host similar celebrations for this momentous event. Attendees are urged to wear yellow during the ceremonies, as the King was born on a Monday, and yellow is closely associated with that day of the week.

The ceremonies will include Thai poetry crafted in honor of His Majesty’s birthday. In addition, the Supreme Sangha Council, which governs the Buddhist monastic order in Thailand, has endorsed a set of Buddhist prayers and chants to be used during these ceremonies.

The Royal Barge procession for the Royal Kathin ceremony at Wat Arun (October 27th, 2024)

The Royal Barge procession for the Royal Kathin ceremony at Wat Arun Ratchawararam (also known as the Temple of Dawn) scheduled for October 27th, 2024 will see His Majesty the King travel by Royal Barge presenting robes to Buddhist monks.

The procession — the first under His Majesty the King’s reign — will make its way along the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun, featuring 52 barges in a formation called Dao Lom Duen, manned by approximately 2,200 oarsmen. Spanning 1,200 meters in length and 90 meters in width, this majestic display promises to be a remarkable sight.  

The Dao Lom Duen formation, invented by Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Krom Phra Srisavangavadhana, is arranged into five columns, with the royal barges in the center, two rows of escorts, and lesser escort barges on each side. 

The Royal Thai Navy is undertaking extensive preparations, which have been organized into six parts as follows:

1. Recruitment of oarsmen and initial rehearsals.
2. Barge repairs and dock preparations, overseen by the Thonburi Naval Dockyard and inspected by the Fine Arts Department.
3. Musical composition of four barge-rowing songs, one of which will be showcased during the King’s birthday celebration ceremony.
4. Dress rehearsals, comprising 10 small rehearsals, two major ones with oarsmen in full uniform, and a final rehearsal.
5. The actual procession itself on October 27th, 2024 to Wat Arun.
6. Post-event assessment and reporting and the return of the barges.

A photo of Royal Barge Procession in the past in front of Wat Arun
Source: NeoPhoto / iStock.com