Mother’s Day was first linked to birthday celebrations for Queen Sirikit in 1976, making it a national tradition that continues to this day.
This year Thai Mothers Day will be celebrated on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Monday 13 August is the substitute National holiday.
Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit of Thailand was born on August 12th, 1932. Thai Mothers Day is a celebration of the Queen’s birthday as well as to honor mothers everywhere. The Queen is the symbolic mother of Thailand and is honored as the “First Mother”. For almost sixty years, the Queen has stood by the King and the Thai nation dedicating her time and efforts to the common good. For all of her endless devotion the people of Thailand are grateful.
One of the best places to join in the celebrations is on Bangkok’s Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the areas around the Grand Palace, which are festooned with colorful lights, flowers and portraits for this special occasion.
Mother’s Day Celebrations In Thailand
In Thailand, 12th August is celebrated as the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and the nation immerses in celebrations. As the Queen is also regarded as mother to all Thai people, this day is also celebrated as ‘Mother’s Day.’ It’s since 1976 that the celebrations for Queen and for mother are being held every year without cease. Thai people unanimously commemorate this day because of the queen’s benevolence towards needy and poor in the nation. The Queen has captured the hearts of Thai people through her devotion toward welfare and well- being of her people.
A few weeks before the Queen’s birthday, preparations start at full swing. For this occasion, people all around the country raise national flags and houses are decorate with the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. This is their way of expressing their loyalty and honor to her. Similarly, local organizations are bedecked with her portraits, garlands, and colorful lights. In the capital city Bangkok, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Sanam Luang, the area around Grand Palace is bedecked with colorful lights and firework display is an added attraction. Around Bangkok, the area around the Grand Palace and other well-known locations are bedecked with colored lights and firework display serves as an added attraction.
On the day, early in the morning government officials, royal army, students, teachers, gather around the high tower clock. They form a procession and walk to the king’s palace. On its way to the palace, music band plays popular music pieces. After arrival at King’s palace, the procession presents flowers to the representative of the HM the Queen. It’s followed by song ”Mother of Kingdom’, praising both Queen and King. In the evening ceremony at the Queen’s garden, government officials lit candles. In this way, they pay respect to the Queen and pay for her long life.
Not only limited to birthday celebration of the Queen, Thai people also take this day as an opportunity to thank their dear mother for her unconditional love. Mother’s day morning in Thailand starts by giving alms to the monks. Following the Thai tradition, kids kneel down before their mother to show their love and gratitude. They present her with white jasmine flowers or garlands, in return, mother shower her blessings on kids. On this day, white jasmine flowers are a common sight in Thailand as they are the symbol of maternal love. The white color of the flower symbolizes purity of mother’s true love, which will never change. Charitable activities, donations, offering to monks are also an important part of the day to express child’s love and gratitude towards mother.
Her Majesty the Queen has captured the hearts of the Thai people through her devotion to improving welfare and the well-being of her subjects. She is respected for her efforts in reviving many of Thailand’s folk arts and crafts. Her Majesty’s SUPPORT Foundation (Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques) has expanded progressively since its establishment in 1976 to include craft shops in the capital and popular tourist areas, and two Thai folk arts and crafts training centres at Chitralada Villa and at Bang Sai in Ayutthaya.