Ministry of Tradition
An elaborate three-day coronation is happening for the king of Thailand, and sacred water performs a key position within the consecration rites.
The official ceremonies, a mixture of Brahmin and Buddhist rituals, start on four Might within the capital, Bangkok.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 66, inherited the throne upon the loss of life of his revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016. However in Thai royal custom solely after a king is consecrated does he grow to be a Devaraja, or God king, and the upholder of Buddhism.
That is the primary coronation in residing reminiscence for a lot of the Thai inhabitants and large crowds are anticipated to attend.
“This can be a important event the place Thai folks can reassure ourselves that now we have lengthy historical past, wealthy tradition and shut ties between the monarchy and the folks,” says Prof Tongthong Chandransu from Chulalongkorn College – a researcher in Thai tradition.
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Traditionally, Thai society was established across the banks of its rivers which supplied staples like rice and fish. So lots of its ceremonies and traditions revolve round water.
For weeks main as much as the coronation, officers collected water from greater than 100 sources throughout the nation between 11:52 and 12:38 – deemed an auspicious time in Thai astrology.
The water was then blessed in Buddhist ceremonies at main temples earlier than being mixed in one other consecration ceremony at Wat Suthat – one among Bangkok’s oldest temples.
The consecrated water is utilized in two rituals on the Grand Palace. The primary is the bathtub to “purify” the king, the place the water is poured over his physique whereas he wears a white gown.
The second is to anoint the monarch. The king modifications into his full regal vestments and is seated on an octagonal throne manufactured from fig wooden.
Eight folks pour the water on his arms – this time that can embrace Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn – the king’s youthful sister – Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, in addition to Brahmins and royal court docket pandits (students).
The usage of water is predicated on a Brahmin custom courting again centuries, consultants say.
Gold and diamonds
The king then goes to the Bhadrapitha Throne and sits below the nine-tiered umbrella, the place he’s offered with the Royal Regalia.
The crown is a more moderen addition to royal custom in Thailand, an idea popularised by European courts.
Created within the reign of King Rama I within the 1782, it’s manufactured from gold and adorned with diamonds.
It weighs 7.3kg, symbolising the burden of the obligations the king carries, in accordance the Prof Tongthong.
The Royal Sword of Victory represents knowledge in governing the nation. In line with legend, it was discovered on the backside of the Tonle Sap lake in Siem Reap, Cambodia and given as a present to King Rama I. It is mentioned that when it arrived in Bangkok, seven lightning strikes hit the town concurrently.
After the crowning and investiture ceremonies King Vajiralongkorn – who holds the titles Rama X, or the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty – will current his first royal command.
His father had mentioned on the time of his coronation in 1950: “I’ll reign with righteousness, for the profit and happiness of the Thai folks”.
Inexperienced gourd and sesame seeds
After the coronation rites, the king takes up ceremonial residence on the Grand Palace – referred to in easy phrases as a housewarming occasion.
In a non-public ceremony, on the Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence, he’s escorted in by the ladies of the royal household.
They create with them a cat and a white rooster, a grinding stone, a tray of inexperienced gourd, a tray of rice seeds, a tray of beans and a tray of sesame seeds. The grains signify abundance and fertility in Thai agriculture.
The importance of the cat is much less easy. Some imagine the proprietor of a brand new home ought to have a cat to ward off rat. Others imagine the customized comes from a perception that cats expel demons and evil spirits, based on the Bangkok Put up newspaper.
He is additionally given a golden key to indicate his possession of the palace.
Within the days after the primary ceremonies, the newly anointed king will participate in processions round Bangkok and make a public look on his balcony to provide peculiar Thais a chance to pay their respects.
Pictures courtesy of Ministry of Tradition and Thailand PR division.