December 5 – The King's Birthday in Thailand

Posted on December 5, 2013

A National Day is a time to feel proud of your nation. A time for flags and patriotic anthems. Perhaps a time for speeches, or parades, or fireworks.

Most nations choose a National Day that commemorates their founding, or their independence, or their unification. But Thailand's patriotic day is the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was born on this date in 1927.

Like the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II, the king of Thailand is the head of state but not the head of the government; the Prime Minister heads up the government. Also like Queen Elizabeth II, King Adulyadej has ruled for a long, long time. Actually, he is the world record holder of current monarchs, having ruled for 67 years (and counting). Elizabeth II is in second place, having ruled for almost 62 years.

Did you know...?
  • Thailand was the only country in southeast Asia that was never colonized by a European power. Perhaps that is why its name (Prathet Thai in the Thai language) means “Land of the Free.”
  • Other world's records connected with Thailand include the world's smallest mammal (the bumblebee bat), the world's longest human hair (16 feet and 11 inches), and the world's most expensive pet wedding ($16.241). 
I've never heard of anyone paying even 5 bucks for a pet wedding. I've just never heard of a pet wedding before!!!
  • Bangkok's full name is "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit."
This translates to: “The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.”
I am guessing that this is yet another world's record!
  • There are more than 400 wats (Buddhist temples), many of them fabulously and intricately adorned, in Thailand's capital, Bangkok.

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