This month Thailand celebrated His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday anniversary, on 5 December with the inaugural Bike for Dad cycling event, and there are many more events planned for the festive season.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn led cyclists in the 29-kilometre ride, which started at the Royal Plaza, through many areas of Bangkok, and across the Chao Phraya River into Thon Buri. Well-wishers thronged roadsides and chanted “long live the King”.
HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana joined him in the event.
In Bangkok alone, around 100,000 people registered on the official “Bike for Dad” website, but it is estimated the actual number of riders was higher.
The event also attracted hundreds of thousands of people from across the country and overseas, with over 9,800 Thais living in other nations also registered to bicycle in their country of residence.
Similar rides were also held in each of the 77 provinces and in Trat, 400 cyclists pedalled 129 kilometres from Muang district to Khlong Yai and back in what was the longest ride of the day.
Thailand continues to celebrate with the following events in December and January.
Bangkok Illumination, 2015. The centre stage of the Christmas celebration in Bangkok this year is in the areas around Sukhumvit Sois 26 – 31 which is the location of the Emporium, Emquartier and Benjasiri Park. Bangkok’s first international festival of light, sound and visual arts, provides spaces for light arts created by a number of Thai and foreign artists as well as academic students. Until 3 January 2016.
A Happy Fairy Tale Thailand’s Central Pattana and Hong Kong Disneyland bring a parade of popular Disney characters; to CentralWorld, CentralPlaza and CentralFestival shopping centres, turning them into fairy-tale towns. Disney fans can participate in ‘A Happy Fairy Tale’ at CentralWorld, and all branches of CentralPlaza and CentralFestival shopping centres nationwide by dressing up as any Disney character and taking a photo to post on your Facebook or IG with a message explaining why they like that character. Include #CPNaHappyFairytale #HKDisneyland for a chance to win a special free package tour to Hong Kong Disneyland. Until 15 January 2016.
Sweet Christmas @ Chanthaburi Chanthaburi province has the largest Christian community in Thailand, and this year has planned a grand 2015 Christmas celebration with a spectacular 3D animation light-and-sound presentation at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand and Southeast Asia. 24-25 December 2015.
Sakon Nakhon Christmas Star Parade: Sakon Nakhon is celebrating Christmas with the dazzling star parade on more than 200 cars together with parade starring Santa Claus and angels. Visitors are invited to join the Mass ceremony, watch a nativity play and visit Tha Rae village. 23 – 25 December 2015.
4th Christmas Tree Festival in Loei, Thailand’s largest regional producer of Christmas trees or poinsettia. Held at the entrance to Phu Rua National Park, and visitors are bound to enjoy the pleasant cool weather amidst the beautiful red leaves of Christmas trees. At night, visitors can also enjoy beautiful lanterns lightened up to celebrate the Christmas event. Until 31 January 2016.
The Colours of Doi Tung Festival is returning to transform the mountains of Doi Tung into the highest elevated walking street in Thailand at 1,000 metres above sea level, filled with shops, food, arts and entertainments. The Colors of Doi Tung promises to make the hills more vibrant and colorful than ever with exhibitions all around. The main art exhibition, “Wisdom of the Inspirer” by over 20 artists from ArtBridge ChiangRai commemorates the Princess Mother and conveys her vision of man and nature in harmony, presenting an abundance of flowers, forests, and all kinds of animals big and small. Every weekend until 31 January 2016.