In the face and light of much sadness in Thailand, preparations are underway for the Royal Cremation ceremony which will be a last farewell to the much loved Father of Thailand, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away on the 13th of October last year (2016) and has been laying in state at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Room in the Royal Grand Palace. The Royal Cremation ceremony is officially on the 26th of October but already people from all over Thailand are making their way to Bangkok city to witness the occasion and say their last farewells.
Multiple activities are underway for the ceremony and the latest is the “Flowers for Dad” event which started today at the Pak Klong Talad at the Chakphet Road and extending along a 400 meter stretch with multiple floral themes that has a special meaning in each display that is reflective of the deep set feelings of respect and love for the King. The floral display is continuously being designed and completed by volunteers from the much loved flower market vendors and the public who are dedicating themselves in a show of love and honor that starts today, Saturday 21st October to the 27th October. The public can view the wonderful displays of images made up from millions of flowers.
There are going to be six remarkable floral arches in different display settings each reflecting on a unique emotion and love for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The first floral arch titled “Thais” is designed like a tunnel measuring 89 meters in length which is symbolic of the late Monarch’s age at the time of his passing. Starting with the subtle white flowers it slowly blends into the national colors of the Thai flag, giving the impression of a fluttering flag in the wind symbolic of King and Country. The second floral arch entitled “The Rain” is made up of the beautiful Lotus blooms. Significant of the episode in the late King’s life in 1955 while visiting the province of Nakhon Phanom, the granny (Tum Channit) captured in the picture waiting patiently to greet His Majesty with a wilted lotus flower in hand is symbolic of King Bhumibol’s graciousness and generosity which is like the life giving rain that revives and nourishes crops and flowers similarly in Thai hearts. It also symbolizes the King as a person who helped to enlighten the Thai people in many aspects of their lives.
The third floral arch is titled “The Imprint” which is reflective of the mountain range in the North of Thailand which has seen much development in agriculture from the late King through his beloved Royal Projects. Chrysanthemums are used to decorate this floral arch along with other flowers native to the Northern region that today has become the base of the local floral economy in the North ranging from floral blooms to other edible floral products and tourism destinations. The fourth floral arch called “Home” is designed in the shape of Thailand with more than 77 different species of daffodils. The number “77” represents the 77 provinces of Thailand and how the people from each of these provinces love the late Monarch which was and is evident in the number of people who have come to Dusit Maha Prasat daily since the day His Majesty passed away to pay the respects, queuing for long hours each day in sun and rain after having travel long distances from all over Thailand to personally pay their last respects. Never before has there been such a devotion and sadness in the passing of a King as shown by the subjects of the Kingdom of Thailand.
The fifth floral arch is aptly named “King Rama IX” and decorated with the marigold flowers for which the deep yellow color is significant of the color of the day that HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born and is sculptured into the shape of the Thai number “9”. Last but not least if the sixth arch which means “Montarop” and represents the gateway to Heaven, so it is decorated with the Magnolia flowers which the Thai people call Montarop and is believed to mystically originate from the Heavens. So do take the time to make your way to the Flower Market of Bangkok and catch a glimpse of these beautiful arches before the 27th of October.