This Saturday, December 5, Thai people across the kingdom will celebrate the 88th birthday of their beloved monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which isn’t just a national holiday but also celebrated as Father’s Day.
As the king’s birthday falls on a Saturday this year, Monday, December 7, will be a substitution holiday, with banks, government offices, immigration etc. closed for a full day.
Unlike on the most important Buddhist holidays, no official alcohol ban will be imposed on the king’s birthday this year and bars in Pattaya should be open as usual. Many venues may however close voluntarily for a day or simply tone down their activities.
King Bhumibol Adulyade has ascended to the throne in 1946 and is the world’s longest-reigning monarch. His Majesty is a deeply admired figure of semi-divine proportions and by many Thais viewed as the “father of the nation”.
In Pattaya, a week-long celebration of the king’s 88th birthday will culminate on Saturday with the annual Father’s Day parade and a fireworks show. The parade will start at 5.30 p.m. from the Royal Garden Plaza and run southward to the Bali Hai pier. Pattaya Beach Road will be closed for all traffic from the Central Pattaya intersection southward from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A public celebration of His Majesty’s birthday, which will include a grand fireworks show and the singing of the royal and national anthems by an expected crowd of thousands of Thais dressed in yellow and pink, will take place at the Bali Hai pier Saturday night starting from 7 p.m.