The nation prepares for the beloved monarch’s final journey
The royal cremation ceremony of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) will be the grandest and most important event in 2017.
Apart from the relevant authorities, every Thai is hoping this will be an exquisite, impressive and heartfelt goodbye befitting Thailand’s greatest and most beloved monarchs.
King Rama IX reigned over Thailand from 1946 to 2016, and at the time of his passing, he was the world’s longest-reigning monarch. During his seven-decade-long reign, His Majesty was so devoted to his people that they in turn could not help but love and deeply revere him.
Since His Majesty’s passing on October 13, millions of Thais have been queuing for hours outside the Grand Palace for a chance to lay prostrate before his body. Many mourners are seen praying for their beloved monarch even after the doors of the Grand Palace close.
In addition, everybody has been keeping a close eye on every step leading to the ceremony, starting from the choice of wood for the royal pyre.
Logs of agarwood were selected and transported from Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Kui Buri National Park on December 20, under the eye of many who either watched the procedure via media outlets or gathered around the park with their palms pressed together to show their deep respect.
Meanwhile, the government has already come up with the design of the royal crematorium. Designed to symbolise Mount Sumeru, this structure will stand tall at 50.49 metres. According to Buddhist mythology the heavens sit above Mount Sumeru.
Eight pavilions representing Mount Sumeru’s surrounding mountains will also be set up around the crematorium.
The royal crematorium, expected to occupy a large part of Sanam Luang, is scheduled for completion in September next year and the royal cremation ceremony will most likely take place in the following month.
Though bidding their beloved king a final goodbye will be heartbreaking for most Thais, many will still catch a glimpse of the monarch being carried in a gold-gilded chariot to the royal crematorium.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been engraved in each Thai’s heart and nearly everyone will stand guard and ensure his journey to heaven is completed without a hitch.