Coronation Day is a day celebrated annually on May 5th in Thailand. Also known as Wan Chattra Mongkhon, this holiday marks the day on which King Bhumibol Adulyadej was coronated in 1950. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history and served for a total of 25,693 days, or about 70 years and 126 days.
History of Coronation Day
Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on December 5th, 1927, at Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the U.S. He was the youngest child of the Prince of Songkla, Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, and his wife Mom Sangwan. He was given the name Bhumibol Adulyadej after Prince Mahidol consulted his uncle, King Rama VII.
In 1928, Bhumibol Adulyadej was brought to Thailand, and a year later, his father died of kidney failure. He was educated at various schools, including the Mater Dei School in Bangkok and the École Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande in Lausanne, Switzerland. When his brother, King Ananda Mahidol, died of a gunshot wound on June 9th, 1946, Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended the throne.
After presiding over the ceremonial cremation of his brother, Bhumibol Adulyadej was coronated on May 5th, 1950. He would go on to serve for over 70 years and was the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty. From that day on, May 5th has been celebrated as Coronation Day. On October 13th, 2016, Bhumibol Adulyadej died at the age of 88.
Coronation Day Customs & Traditions
A day to celebrate the coronation of a monarch has been celebrated in Thailand since the 1850s, during the reign of King Rama IV. Today, the ceremony begins on May 3rd and continues until May 5th. On the 3rd, Buddhist monks kick off the ceremonies with a service in honor of the Chakri Dynasty that takes place in the Grand Palace. On May 4th, the head of the Brahmin priests will then read out the official proclamation of the coronation in front of a large crowd of people. On the final day, May 5th, there is a feast that is held for the monks, and then a coronation ceremony takes place. After the ceremony, a 21-gun salute is fired. Another tradition that occurs on Coronation Day is the passing out of awards by the current King of Thailand.