Thai capital draped in yellow as tens of thousands gather for late king’s funeral

Hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Bangkok to watch the funeral procession, with buildings on the route draped in yellow marigolds on the eve of King Bhumibol Adulyadej cremation.

King Bhumibol Abdulyadej who was the longest-serving heard of state, served the state for 70 years, died at the age of 88, on 13 October 2016.
The public mourned for a year in respect for the king and the funeral procession will go on for five days.

Mourners were dressed in black and slept throughout the night on plastic mats on pavements near the Grand Palace in the Thai capital to have a good view of the procession.

“This is the last goodbye. I really love and miss him. It is very difficult to describe,” said a person who traveled to Bangkok from the northern province of Nan for the funeral.

Officials who were dressed in blue and orange removed a symbolic golden urn from the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall at the start of the ceremony.
The body of the late king, which had been lying in state at the palace since his death a year ago, was moved to the cremation area on Wednesday night.

New King Maha Vajiralongorn, King Bhumibol’s only son arrived at the palace in a red uniform with his children.

Followed by the religious chanting the urn was removed by soldiers and placed onto a golden chariot, with the members of the Thai royal family walking behind the urn.

All television stations in Thailand broadcast the ceremony that evoked images of ancient Siam, Thailand’s former name.

A total number of 300,000 members of the public have gathered to witness the cremation. The cremation will feature ancient rites. $90 million has been set aside for the funeral. Analysts say the king’s death has left a large vacuum in the Thai psyche.

Days of heavy rainfall could not also ruin the spirit of mourners who pitched tents to gain the best access to the funeral.

Many businesses around the Southeast Asian nation were shut, and some government buildings placed potted yellow marigolds around portraits of the late king.

Source: Reuters

Image Credit: https://twitter.com/RichardBarrow