Candle Light Ceremony For HM The Queen

Millions of Thai people from all around Thailand came together on the evening of the 12th August to celebrate H.M. The Queen’s 77th birthday. In Samut Prakan we also had a ceremony in the parade ground next to the Provincial Hall. This was attended by the Governor and City Mayor as well hundreds of local people. They represented schools, government departments and private organizations. In this first picture, you can see two teachers from my school taking part in the ceremony.

From 6 p.m. onwards, each group took turns in paying homage to a portrait of H.M. The Queen by presenting two “phan phums”. This is a lotus bud shaped floral design. They are presented on a small tray. They are not easy to make and it can be time-consuming. Traditionally a mould is made using clay mixed with sawdust. But these days special dry floral foam is cut into the shape of a lotus bud. The stem of the dried flower is cut off and a sharp pointed slither of bamboo is used to pin it into the dry foam.

It took over an hour for all of the organizations to present their “phan phum”. Everything had to be finished before 7.29 p.m. as this was the auspicious time chosen to start the main ceremony that would take place simultaneously around the country. The main event in Bangkok at Sanam Luang was televised and broadcast live around the country. Millions of candles were lit at exactly 7.29 p.m. and the Thai people then sang songs to praise H.M. The Queen.

The sea of candle light was a beautiful scene but the grand finale of the event was of course the magnificent firework display. We actually had two shows as a district across the river started theirs a little early while we were still singing. At the completion of the songs the sky behind the giant portrait of H.M. The Queen was lit up with colourful fireworks. A beautiful finish to a wonderful evening.


  1. Maria says:

    Hi Richard,I have been browsing thogruh your travels, and find your posts fascinating. Thanks for sharing.I am trying to organize a little tip to the H.T.M.S Maeklong and Chulachomklao Fort for myself and children, and would like to ask a question if I may.To organize our transport, it would be great to know how long you think would be required to enjoy all the attractions at these locations? That way I can make arrangements for the return journey.Keep the posts coming.Darryl

    • RichardBarrow says:

      If you explore the ship, fort, open air gun museum and do the mangrove forest walk you would need about 90 minutes. There is also a restaurant there.

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