This national holiday is celebrated every year to commemorate King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who passed away on October 23rd 1910 at the age of 57.
He was the fifth monarch of Siam from the House of Chakri and is considered one of the greatest kings of Siam. King Chulalongkorn is remembered as the king who introduced many social and political reforms that helped to modernize Siam including the abolishment of slavery.
King Chulalongkorn managed to prevent Thailand from being colonized by extending friendship and travelling extensively to western countries like America, Great Britain, France and Russia. Because of this, Thailand remains as the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonized.
As a child, Rama V was taught English by Anna Leonowens. Her memoirs of her time in Thailand were retold in the book, “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon – which was the basis for the popular Broadway musical and film, “The King and I.”
Many Thais show their respects for the great monarch by placing wreaths at the Equestrian Statue, in the Royal Plaza, Dusit District, on this public holiday.
Celebrate this holiday with a visit to Thaiphoon on October 24! Eat a Thai food feast and sing a few songs from “The King and I.”