Public holiday in Thailand
BANGKOK, 22 October 2012: Thais will celebrate a public holiday, Tuesday, that commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V (1 October 1868 to 23 October 1910).
Known officially as King Chulalongkorn Memorial Day, this year is the 102th anniversary of his death.
The King is credited with saving Thailand (then known as Siam) from the grasp of British and French colonials during the heyday of European imperialism.
He is credited with introducing reforms to government, modernising communications including building the country’s first railways. He demonstrated shrewd diplomacy to keep foreign colonials at bay, although he had to concede territory, both to the east and west of the country to keep the country free. The country was completely surrounded by the colonies of Britain (Malaysia, Myanmar) to the west those of France (Laos and Cambodia) to the east.
He is remembered for the introduction of the first educational system for citizens other than nobles, leading the country towards the path of democracy and ending the practice of slavery without bloodshed or revolt. It was a time of fiscal reform and vast improvements and modernisation of the military, police and government institutions.
In remembrance of one of the most-revered kings in Thai history, Thai people from all walks of life gather at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok throughout the day and evening to pay homage to King Chulalongkorn by laying flowers around his equestrian statue.
King Chulalongkorn’s full name was Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha Chulalongkorn Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua. King Chulalongkorn Memorial Day is celebrated nation-wide.
TTR Weekly will resume its daily online news service Wednesday 24 October.