Celebrating The King in New Zealand

Over the past couple of weeks Thai people all over the world have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of The King. My local Thai community held their celebration last weekend.

We could not hope to match the one million people who turned out in Bangkok, and our temperature was probably 30 degrees colder, but we had a good crowd in our recently opened Bot, which was fitted out with a new extra-large picture of His Majesty for the occasion.

My most significant challenge for the weekend was locating a yellow shirt. I thought that this would be a simple matter, but yellow has not been a colour of choice in New Zealand for some time (if ever) and I spent almost two hours trudging through shopping malls before I happened on a shirt that was not only the right colour, but did not have any tasteless illustrations. The time spent did pay off in the end, though. My Thai friends were impressed that I had remembered to wear yellow, and those of us wearing yellow were promoted to the front row when it was time to take photographs.

Our celebration was low key. We had offerings for The King, mostly of yellow flowers, a message to the King read by one of the women, music and dance from the cultural group, our usual Buddhist chanting, and then we stood to watch a video recording of The King addressing the crowd last week, and to sing the Anthem.

Not quite the same as being there, but at least we could share a small part of the excitement of this important occasion.

Long Live The King.

5 responses to “Celebrating The King in New Zealand

  1. Oceanic Experience

    Please ask your own self, what week day was Gautama Siddhartha ( The Buddha ) born? And what kind of colored clothes did he used to wear to resemble his own clothes color according to his own week day of birth?

    In order to show one’s liking, love & respect towards other the color or illustration doesn’t matter at all. What matter’s most importantly is whether one is following and walking on the same path of foot steps of what one has understood and learnt from the teaching’s ( can be from the King / Buddha ). Instead of understanding & following the essence of the teaching’s one always clings to the rites and rituals. Where does in Buddhism does Buddha talks about color or clothes’ as per week day? He never talks about physical senses at all. He talks something more beyond that which is beyond the senses of MIND.

  2. Ocean Experience: I agree that it is important to focus on important things and not just rituals. But the blogs here are about many aspects of Thailand and Thai culture. The way Thais have been celebrating The King is of interest to those of us who have connections with Thailand. Obviously wearing a yellow shirt is a substitute for other, more serious, things. It is not meant to be. But the fact that a million people turned out in Bangkok dressed like that does have some significance.

  3. Very nice piece Mike and lovely photo.

    Thai people everywhere hold His Majesty in their hearts and so too do those of us who have come to love Thailand along with our own countries.

    Long Live The King

  4. Oceanic Experience

    What is Thailand and Thai culture without Buddhism and Buddha? Million people wearing a momentary Yellow Color T-Shirt is nothing when compared to walking & living every moment on the path of what has been taught ( can be from the King / Buddha’s ) from the teaching’s…

    be happy…

  5. You are wrong to say that it is nothing that million people wear yellow shirts, it is the intention of Thai people to show the King how much they love him.