Chulalongkorn Day

King Chulalongkorn was the fifth king of Siam who served under the House of Chakri. To his people, he was known as the “Royal Buddha,” and his reign was marked by the complete modernization of Siam, social and governmental reforms, and concessions of territory to the French and British. Even though his kingdom was surrounded by European colonies, he was able to maintain the sovereignty of his kingdom—an act that earned him the title “Great Beloved King.” That’s why Chulalongkorn Day is such a beloved holiday in Thailand and is observed on the 23rd of October every year.

A Brief Account Of The Achievements Of King Chulalongkorn

King Chulalongkorn’s reign lasted from 1868 through 1910. During his rule, slavery was abolished, as was the state labor service (also known as Corvée), and he abolished torture as part of the judiciary process. He then adopted a judicial code that was more aligned with the West’s judicial code. Other changes made by this king included sending royal princes to Europe to be properly educated and allowing writers, even those with radical ideas, to be published. He also enacted a slew of other political, social, and governmental reforms. In 1910, he passed away, and Chulalongkorn Day was created soon after to commemorate the day of his death.

Interesting Facts About King Chulalongkorn

There are quite a few facts that we could squeeze into an article about Chulalongkorn Day regarding King Chulalongkorn, but we have a limited amount of space and have to keep it short. That’s why we’ve uncovered the facts that we feel are the most interesting about this king and listed them below.

  • A fictional version of King Chulalongkorn can be seen in “The King and I” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.
  • In “The King and I,” King Chulalongkorn is a young boy taught by the English teacher Anna Leonowens.
  • King Chulalongkorn established the Royal Military Academy in Thailand.
  • In 1916, Thailand’s first university was named in honor of King Chulalongkorn.
  • King Chulalongkorn was born on September 20, 1853, and died on October 23, 1910.
  • King Chulalongkorn’s wife, Queen Sunantha, died in a boating accident in 1880.
  • This king fathered 77 children by four queens and many concubines.
  • Only about 66% of the children sired by the king survived to adulthood.

Customs, Traditions & Celebrations Of Chulalongkorn Day

Because this is such an important holiday in Thailand, governmental organizations are usually closed on this day, although most businesses will remain open. At the Equestrian Statue at the Royal Plaza in the Dusit District, Thai people show their respect for the great king by placing wreaths. That’s the biggest ceremony in the country, but smaller ceremonies are held at other King Chulalongkorn statues around Thailand as well.

Where is it celebrated?
Thailand (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 23 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
October 23 Thursday
Last year (2023)
October 23 Monday