The Passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a national holiday and serves to remember the beloved King throughout the country. It is held annually on the anniversary of his passing which was on October 13th, 2016. Just like in America, when this holiday happens to fall on the weekend, this national holiday is observed on the Monday following October 13th.

Who was King Bhumibol and why is there a holiday honoring his death? Rama IX, as he was also known, reigned the country of Thailand from June 9, 1946, through his passing on October 13, 2016. Rama IX held the longest reign of any monarch in the history of Thailand. He was also the longest-reigning head of state in the world at his passing. 

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, so the King does not legally have a role in the politics of the country, however, that did not stop King Bhumibol Adulyadej from making “several decisive interventions” for his country. He helped to facilitate the transition of Thailand into a democratic nation during the 90’s. 

In the 50’s when the government at that time had the Kind restricted to little more than a “ceremonial role”, he used his own personal funds to produce some movies and operated a radio show at the Chitlada Palace! In later years, he was able to help rural areas with irrigation projects and many other royal projects which greatly helped his country and his people improve their living conditions and their communities. 

King Bhumibol was also an accomplished musician and composer, playing such instruments as the saxophone, clarinet, piano, and guitar. His favorite genre of music was Dixieland and New Orleans Jazz. 

Each year since the King’s passing, Thai people celebrate a moment of silence all across the nation at 3:52 pm, the moment in which the King passed.  There are also ceremonies all across the country to celebrate their beloved King. As a sign of respect, the government suggests the wearing of yellow clothing, which was the color associated with the day the revered King was born on, Monday. Many Thai citizens will participate in community service projects on this day to honor the monarch. Beach or road clean up trash clean up, handing out food, etc. Also in honor of the holiday, all entertainment venues and bars close and it is prohibited to sell alcohol on this holiday. 

If you are in the Arlington, VA area and looking for authentic Thai food, please visit us today and celebrate this special day with us.