The month of May has some very important religious and royal occasions that are observed and celebrated across Thailand. We’ve included Visaka Bucha Day, usually in May, but the full moon of the sixth lunar month this year falls on June 1st.
Coronation Day – 4th & 5thMay
The coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej took place on 5th May 1950. His Majesty is the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty. On 5th May of every year, the Thai people rejoice and express their affection and loyalty to him by organizing a celebration on his coronation day. Prior to the reign of King Rama IV (King Mongkut), there was no coronation ceremony in Thailand, there was only private ceremony held by high ranking officials to celebrate their Royal Regalia and positions in the 6th lunar month. On 4th May, the Coronation Ceremonies begin with the proclamation of the Coronation Day read by the Chief of Brahmin priests followed by an evening chanting performed by Buddhist monks. On 5th May food is offered to monks and a celebration of the Royal Regalia. At noon the Army and Navy fire a 21-gun salute in honour of the king. His Majesty the King also presents royal decorations to people who have made a valuable contribution to the country.
Royal Ploughing Day – 13th May
The Royal Plowing Ceremony is called Pra Ratchapitii Puetchamongkon. It is an ancient royal rite held in Cambodia and Thailand to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season and ensure fertility of crops. The ceremony has been performed in Thailand since the Sukhothai period, some 700 years ago, and is closely watched by farmers across the country. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is deemed a vital event by Thai farmers for their agricultural fortune, signifies one of the prominent traditional features of Thailand’s cultural identity.
Visaka Bucha Day – 1st June
Visakha Bucha Day or Wan Pra Yai marks the three important incidents in the life of Lord Buddha on the same day – the full moon of the sixth lunar month. The three significant separate events are : 1. The Buddha’s Birth 2. The Enlightenment of Buddha – While sitting under the Bodhi tree, he found his answer and attained the enlightenment at the age of 35 years. 3. The Nibbana- The Buddha passed away on Tuesday, the Vesak full moon day, at the age of eighty years (around 2547 years ago).