King’s birth month: Government agencies and the public urged to celebrate

All government agencies have been told to organize ceremonies for His Majesty the King’s 68th birthday while everyone is urged to wear yellow in July.

A commemoration stage to the King Vajiralongkorn at Nonthaburi province. (Source: Thai Public Relations Department)

On 30 June, Oranuch Srinon, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister, sent a letter to all ministries encouraging them to hold ceremonies to show loyalty to the King and acknowledge his royal grace as 28 July is the King’s birthday.

Each government agency is encouraged to:

  • Set up altar tables displaying the King’s portrait with royal offerings

  • Set up places for people to write messages of goodwill for the King

  • Display Thai and royal flags at government buildings and residential areas

  • Decorate government buildings and residential areas with yellow and white cloth

  • Decorate main streets with lights for an appropriate period of time

  • Post messages of goodwill on the main page of agencies’ websites

  • Wear yellow from 1-31 July

Ministries are encouraged to hold celebrations for the King with the leader of each agency as the guest of honour to pay respect, say a blessing and sign a blessing for the King. Due to Covid-19 concerns, the Office of the Prime Minister asked all agencies to hold ceremonies at special locations and take proper precautions.

Participants will wear their white civil servant uniforms and display the royal commemorative pin from the King’s birthday ceremony in 2012 with the royal commemorative pin from the 2019 coronation.

The letter said the agencies can publish photos and videos of the ceremonies on their websites.

Government agencies include those inside in the country, such as public schools, and those abroad, such as Thai embassies.

On 1 July, Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary Chatchai Promlert sent a letter to all 77 provincial governors asking them to organize ceremonies.

Governors are asked to display the King’s portrait in front of their provincial halls, decorate them with flags and cloth, put up decorative lights on main streets, set up a place for the public to write messages of goodwill and tell other local government agencies to do so.

Chatchai also asked the governors to encourage private businesses and the public in each province to do the same things at their business locations and their homes.

On 30 June, Traisuree Taisaranakul, Deputy Spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had asked cabinet members, civil servants and the public to wear yellow for the whole month of July.

On 1 July, Wissanu Krea-ngam, Deputy-Prime Minister, said cabinet members were asked to wear yellow only at their meetings on Tuesdays while they are asked to wear a yellow tie on other days if possible.

Why yellow?

King Vajiralongkorn was born on 28 July 1952, which is a Monday. According to Thai concept of colours for every day, yellow is the colour for Monday.

Most of the time during the regime of King Bhumibol, the government asked the public to wear yellow at many royal ceremonies, as he was also born on a Monday. Wearing yellow became a symbol of honouring the King, acknowledging his royal grace and the people’s loyalty to him.

In the case of former Queen Sirikit, who was born on Friday 12 August 1932, the public has been encouraged to wear blue in the month of August. The colour associated with Friday is blue.