A Birthday Fit for a King

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Yesterday was the King of Thailand’s birthday, King Bhumibol Adulyadej turned 83 and celebrations were held across the country in his honor. As the King is seen as the father of Thailand it’s fitting that on the the Kings birthday fathers day is also observed. Many businesses are closed for the day and it’s a time to relax and enjoy your family.

In many ways the Kings birthday is much like the fourth of July in America, families and friends gather together and enjoy good food, fun, concerts and fireworks all in the name of the King. The largest celebrations take place in Bangkok where thousands turn out to honor the king and huge crowds gather to see and hear the kings birthday address. It truly is a sight to see even if only from a television screen.

Living in Pattaya there was no shortage of fun to be had on the Kings birthday/Fathers day. I was officially adopted as a surrogate father for the day by several close Thai friends whose fathers were far away in other provinces.

Concert for the King Concert for the King 2 Concert for the King 3

We enjoyed a great Thai BBQ with what seemed like a few thousand other people then spent the night at a special concert for the King on Pattaya 3rd road. The concert grounds were filled to capacity with happy people both young and old to help celebrate the  Kings birthday. The air was filled with traditional Thai music while dancers took the stage in beautiful costume and the crowd danced and cheered.

Lighting candles for the King Lighting candles for the King 2

Around 11pm candles were lit for the king as prayers were said and then the night sky broke open with a beautiful fireworks display and more traditional Thai music.

I had a great day and I can only hope the King himself was as satisfied with his birthday as I was.

The video below is from the Kings birthday concert in Pattaya. More videos can be found in the Thailand Video Gallery…Enjoy.


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8 Responses to A Birthday Fit for a King
  1. Paul Garrigan
    December 6, 2010 | 7:14 pm

    We missed the fireworks, but we went out during the day. We went down to Damnoen Saduak floating market in the morning and on the way back we stopped in one of the big department stores. It was so nice seeing all the fathers taking their children out in the day; they really make an effort to create a special day for their kids. I know a lot of us in Europe (and I guess to States too) only went to the department stores with our fathers because it was neutral ground following a divorce.
    Paul Garrigan recently posted..Buddhists Celebrating ChristmasMy Profile

    • Talen
      December 6, 2010 | 9:23 pm

      Paul, sounds like you had a great day out…happy fathers day

  2. Lani
    December 7, 2010 | 7:50 am

    You know what I find fascinating is everyone signing those stationary books for the King. I wonder if he reads them. Can you imagine how many cities and organizations do this? It’s the ultimate yearbook signing!!!

    We rocked it in CM ~ saw a heck of a lot of license plates from Bangkok and other provinces. Traffic was insane. I’m grateful for the day off of work!!!

  3. Talen
    December 7, 2010 | 3:54 pm

    Lani, it was crazy in Pattaya as well.

    I don’t imagine the King reads any of those books but I do wonder what becomes of them…I bet they are all kept someplace…now think about this, if they are kept…where do you keep over 60 years of such books?

  4. Khon Kaen
    December 7, 2010 | 4:48 pm

    Watched it on TV with English commentary as there wasn’t much going on in Khon Kaen. Long live His Majesty The King of Thailand.
    Khon Kaen recently posted..Kosa HotelMy Profile

  5. Catherine
    December 7, 2010 | 5:31 pm

    Talen, being a father for a day must have been great fun. What do they do, feed you?

    I missed the King’s birthday as I was in transit all day yesterday, until the wee hours today. But Khun Pissout told me all about the celebrations on the drive home from the airport. Next year…
    Catherine recently posted..Thai Culture- Understanding Kreng JaiMy Profile

    • Talen
      December 7, 2010 | 7:57 pm

      Cat, They bought me flowers and took me to dinner and a concert…wallet never left my pocket :)

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