Gay in Chiang Mai : Face Book Page Logo Gay in Chiang Mai : Twitter Feed Logo Gay in Chiang Mai : contactr by email

October – Serenity and Mourning

The Royal Cremation

October 2017 will be a month like no other in Thailand. Following the death last year of Thailand’s highly revered Monarch, King Rama IX, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, October brings the first anniversary of his passing and the culmination of a year’s mourning with several days of funeral rites including the Royal Cremation.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The late King of Thailand His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Source:wikimedia)

His Majesty King Bhumibol, was Thailand’s guiding patriarch for the more than seventy years that he was on the throne. His wisdom, humility, love and great deeds endeared him to the Thai people who held him in the highest esteem and love him deeply from the heart. His death on 13th October 2016 saw a huge outpouring of grief across the nation, and a year long period of mourning was announced. Since then millions of his loyal subjects, along with foreign visitors and dignitaries, have paid their respects by visiting the Dusit Maha Phasat Throne Hall of the Grand Palace, Bangkok where the late king is lying in state.

Tomorrow, 5th of October, which is also the buddhist holiday of Awk Phansa (end of Buddhist Lent) will mark the end of the lying in state. The 13th of October is a Public holiday marking the first anniversary of King Rama IX’s death and will be followed by the funeral rites and ceremonies which extend from 25th to 29th October. The royal cremation itself will take place in Bangkok at the Royal Crematorium on 26th October, also a public holiday.

October – a month of mourning

Royal Mourning the much revered King Rama IX, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Visitors to Thailand should understand that there will be an intense period of mourning during October and particularly for the period of the funeral rites. Visitors are encouraged to understand local sentiments and dress respectfully. Ideally in plain black or white, but if this is not possible a black ribbon can be warn as a sign of respect. Disrespectful clothing, e.g bright colours or exposing too much skin, should be avoided.

The media will cease broadcasting entertainment programs from 21 October and all programming will be in Black and White, mainly with documentaries and other material pertaining to the late King. Similar restrictions will be in place for other media outlets too.

For more information see this article by Richard Barrow: Everything you need to know about the Funeral of King Bhumibol in October

Chiang Mai – Entertainment and Nightlife

For those planning to spend vacation time in Chiang Mai during October you should be aware of some restrictions on entertainment and nightlife. In general, life will continue as normal for most of October. Expect entertainment venues to be more subdued, with dimmed lights quieter music and some more extreme elements of shows or other performances omitted or toned down. The restrictions will likely be more severe during 21-29 October and closing times rigidly enforced.

Bars will be closed on 5th October and the sale of alcohol banned, as is normal for any Buddhist holiday. This will certainly also be the case on 26th (Royal Cremation) and the 13th (Anniversary) which are public holidays. Authorities may impose restrictions on other days too. Moreover, some businesses may decide to close for several days over the funeral period out of respect and to allow staff to participate in mourning and watch the funeral on Television.

Normal service is expected to resume from 30 November, just in time for the Loy Krathong or Yee Peng festival which starts early this year on 2 November

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.