People across the country gave alms to monks on Sunday morning to make merit for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on her 86th birthday.
In Bangkok, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife joined an alms-giving ceremony at Sanam Luang.
Also gathered in in front of the Queen’s portrait were several privy councillors, senior government officials, Cabinet members and thousands of ordinary citizens.
Of the 243 monks given alms, 20 were senior monks and abbots of prominent Bangkok temples.
The Queen was born on August 12, 1932. Because she is considered “the mother of the nation”, her birthday is celebrated as National Mother’s Day.
People mostly wore blue, the colour associated with Friday, the day Her Majesty was born. The Royal Household Bureau opened the Sahathai Samakhom Hall for well wishers to sign Happy Birthday messages for the queen between 8am and 1pm. Teacher Wirat Suthierasak traveled from Yala especially to sign best wishes for her beloved queen.
“I am a survivor of a bomb blast. At the time of the explosion, the Royal Family was also there. Despite safety risks, the royals still decided to visit victims at hospitals,” she said.
At 7pm on Sunday, Prayut will preside at a televised hour-long candle-lit ceremony at Sanam Luang to express well wishes to the queen.