Thais farewell their beloved King
MASSIVE crowds dressed in black filled the streets of Bangkok yesterday as the country continued its extensive five-day farewell to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died last year after ruling for seven decades.
The body of the revered king was transported in a procession from the Grand Palace, where it had been lying in state, to Sanam Luang, the site of the Royal Crematorium.
Ceremonies began late on Wednesday, just over a year since he died at the age of 88.
Late last night, King Bhumibol's son and successor, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, was scheduled to light the funeral pyre, which was built to resemble the sacred centre of the Hindu universe, Mount Meru.
Banks and shops were closed and ceremonies involving replicas of the Royal Crematorium were held at 85 sites around the country - in each of Thailand's 76 provinces and in the Special Administrative Region of Bangkok.
The government has a budget of almost $120 million for the commemorations.
The funeral was attended by dignitaries and royal families from 42 countries.
- by staff writer