December Festival month in Thailand is a wonderful opportunity for you to come and join in with all the lively festivities while celebrating both His Majesty the King's Birthday on 5th December at the Grand Palace and the trooping of the colours at the Royal Plaza. Having just said that there is always plenty of other activities to celebrate at this time of the year in this beautiful part of the world.
First of all and for this, I don't have to remind you, December is the start of the holiday season for many of us. In Thailand the rains have all but gone, the skies are clear and the air is so much cooler bringing some very welcome light relief from the past heat and humidity.
While Bangkok (the city of angels) is one big festival in itself, the countryside is looking its absolute best. Lush green vegetation abounds, rivers flow freely, waterfalls are at their grandiose, and there is a general feeling of well-being. This is the best time to visit Thailand. If you have been to Thailand before, you will know what I mean. And if you have not, then you will never know what you are missing. Now is the right time to go.
Most of the regions in Thailand have their own brand of entertainment and all of us are encouraged to join in at many of these exciting events. May I suggest that you jump in at every possible opportunity and then simply go with the flow.
His Majesty the King's Birthday is celebrated on 5th December with a private ceremony and party held at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. While this may be for officials and guests only, if you do happen to be here on this day you can always visit the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew temple instead.
The Grand Palace, apart from being illuminated, also comes alive as the night sky is filled with a spectacular fireworks display.
Government buildings and other private dwellings throughout the country are elaborately decorated as Thai people like to show their sincere respects for their beloved king. In honour of this auspicious occasion, this day is a public holiday. Sadly, his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on 13th October 2016.
Trooping of the Colours is quite an impressive ceremony featuring the elite royal guards who are all dressed splendidly in various colourful smart uniforms. These guards will then have to swear new allegiance to the King at this annual oath-taking ceremony after which they then parade past members of the Royal Family. The ceremony is held each year on the 3rd December at the Royal Plaza.
The allegiance is as follows:
1) I shall give my life for the country's freedom and common cause.
2) I shall uphold the sanctity of the constitution of the Thai Kingdom.
3) I shall behave in accordance with the morality of the religion.
4) I shall maintain and keep aloft the great honour of the Monarch.
5) I shall obey my superiors and discharge my duties to the best of my abilities.
6) I shall be just and fair to my subordinates
7) I shall never breach military secrets.
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