A national holiday Thailand will celebrate on the 5 December is dedicated to the memory of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The date marks what would have been the monarch’s 90th birthday. During King Bhumibol’s lifetime, the 5 December was a public holiday too. The Thai government confirmed the king’s birthday would remain a holiday soon after the king died in October 2016.
The 5 December was also Father’s Day while the king was alive and was a festive occasion for Thai people. In Bangkok especially, fireworks displays were the order of the day. Elsewhere in Thailand, huge portraits of the king were put up and adorned with yellow flowers and streamers. Yellow is for Monday in Thailand and marks the day of the week King Bhumibol was born on.
The Thai government and municipal officials in Chiang Mai have not so far confirmed what events will take place on King Bhumibol’s Memorial Day this year. Last year saw the usual merit-making ceremonies at temples in Bangkok take place, but little else. From a visitor’s perspective, the only difference this year to a normal weekday will be that government and provincial immigration offices, post offices and some bank branches will be shut for the day.