April 6th is a public holiday in Thailand known as Chakri Memorial Day or simply Chakri Day. It commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty that has been ruling the Kingdom of Thailand since 1782. The Chakri Dynasty is the current ruling royal house of Thailand. The House of Chakri was founded by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke also known as King Rama I. He was a prominent military leader. In 1782, he defeated a rebellion which had ousted his long-time friend King Taksin.
On April 6, 1782, he took control of Siam and crowned himself as the monarch, establishing the Chakri Dynasty. King Rama I was responsible for re-locating the capital of Siam from Thonburi to Krung Thep, the site of modern-day Bangkok. King Rama I also built the magnificent Royal Palace and began a dynasty of monarchs who have had a very significant influence on carving and shaping modern Thai culture, heritage and society.
King Rama I’s policies laid the foundation for modern Thailand. He is one of the most significant figures in the Thai history, therefore the anniversary of his ascension was declared a public holiday. The official name of the holiday is King Buddha Yodfa Chulaoke the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day. The previous and much revered ruling monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the ninth king; King Maha Vajiralongkorn is now Rama X. People take flowers and incense to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to pay respect to the former kings of the dynasty.
The Pantheon, a building on the temple grounds adjoining the Grand Palace, housing statues of each king, is open to the public only on this day of the year. On this day, the national flag is displayed on buildings. Traditional ceremonies are held on the occasion, attended by government officials and members of the community. People lay flowers at garlands at numerous statues of kings of the Chakri Dynasty throughout the country.