October 23, 2006
"Chulalongkorn Day" or "Piyamaharaj Day", which they say in Thai, is
celebrated on 23rd October of every year. It is the day when King
Chulalongkorn, or King Rama V, died. King Rama V
was one of the most important kings in the past in Thailand. The most
important thing he did was abolish slavery but he also did many other
reforms in order to modernize the country.
Rama V’s long reign of 42-years was a busy era of full-scale reform and
the emergence of Thailand into the modern age. He learned the systems of
Western Governments, made friends with major powers such as Britain,
France, America and Russia and sent the royal children to be educated in
the West. It seems he was prepared to learn from the West while at the
same time, resisting domination by the major powers. Above all, he was
the first Thai monarch who travelled widely: to neighbouring countries
in Asia and to Europe twice. Wherever he went, he was impressed by the
hospitality and respect shown to him by the Royalty of the various
death on October 23, 1910 was a great loss to the entire nation as he
was one of the most honoured and beloved kings who were often called
“Somdej Phra Piyamaharaj”. Moreover, Thai people also believed in the
King’s miraculous power of bringing good luck and prosperity to the
person who pays respect to him.
Utanede, in the Thai Pavilion they celebrated the memory of King Chulalongkorn
on October 23.
Lots of flowers and gifts were given to the statue of King Chulalongkorn.
If you click on the photos you will see them larger.