Bhumibol bridge and nearby roads will be closed to accommodate mourners.
THE Tourism Authority of Thailand will oversee a special event in Bangkok next month to mark the birthday anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The December 5 event at Bhumibol Bridge will feature the song “Klai Rung” (“Near Dawn”), which was composed by the King, the Royal Anthem and a Buddhist prayer, said Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn yesterday.
The event, to be held in the morning, will end with a mass release of balloons and a merit-making ritual in which food and commodity items will be given to 999 monks before the event’s ends at 11am.
The bridge and nearby roads will be closed during proceedings.
As for New Year’s Eve celebrations, Tanasak said ministries, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and agencies would host cross-year prayers at temples nationwide as well as some temples abroad, while 14 border provinces will organise Asean cross-year prayers.
The cross-year prayer campaign last year attracted 18.4 million people.
Tanasak said the government had asked for New Year’s Eve event organisers to cooperate in arranging three activities – a 89-second moment of silence for the late monarch at 9pm, a cross-year prayer at 11.45pm or a New Year’s Eve countdown and the singing of the King-composed New Year song, and a candle-lighting event dubbed “Saenthien Haeng Siam” (“Candlelight of Siam”) at nine minutes past midnight.
Tanasak said the BMA would host a cross-year prayer for some 40,000 people in Sanam Luang’s southern area on New Year’s Eve, then the public would be barred from entering the area to make way for the construction of the Phra Merumas royal crematorium for the late monarch.
Thanasak said the crematorium’s construction would require two-thirds of Sanam Luang’s space, with the designated area to be handed over by the city on January 10 so relevant agencies could start the construction and complete it by September.
A ritual to worship royal chariots will be held on December 19 and another to worship the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground will be held at a later date.
As the BMA-led “Big Cleaning Day” activity will be held at Sanam Luang and surrounding areas from the night of November 30 until December 2, BMA Deputy Governor Amnuay Nimmano urged people and agencies interested in joining the activity to make advance reservations via the hotline 1555 to allow work and meals to be arranged.
Amnuay said during the clean-up, pesticide would be sprayed in Sanam Luang so it would not be appropriate for food to be cooked there, although roads would not be closed as the clean-up would focus on footpaths.
The action is to prepare the area for people who will come to pay their respects to the late monarch at the adjacent Grand Palace from December 3.
Meanwhile, Maj-General Pongsawat Phanjit – deputy |commander of the First Army Region and deputy director of the centre overseeing Sanam Luang and the adjacent area outside the Grand Palace – urged motorists to avoid routes around the park and nearby areas this weekend as there would be many activities held.
They include a Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce event today at Wong Wiang Odien and Yaowarat Road, and the Foundation Of Sufficiency Economy Family-hosted march in which 999 students will walk from Satriwithaya School to Sanam Luang to collect garbage tomorrow.