The invitation was issued by Busaya Jaipiam, Chief of Phuket office of the Public Relations Department on Monday (Sept 25).
“Phuket invites people to join the ceremonies and to present flowers to honour the late King on Thursday, October 26, from 9am onwards at the replica crematoriums both in Phuket and other locations around the country,” Ms Busaya said.
Services in Phuket will be held at three locations on the island, Ms Busaya explained – at Saphan Hin, at Anuphas Kritsada Ram Temple (Wat Ket Ho) in Kathu and at Thepwanaram Temple (Wat Manik) in Srisoonthorn, Thalang.
“I would like to invite all Phuket people to make merit with Dok Mai Jan offerings at the Royal Crematorium replica at Saphan Hin,” she said.
“The Dok Mai Jan offerings at the replica crematorium will be placed according to an arrangement designed by the Fine Arts Department,” she added.
Replica crematoriums are under construction at temples across the country, Ms Busaya explained.
“Following the Cabinet’s resolution on Sept 12, the construction of replica crematoriums at temples across Thailand is being conducted to give the public a chance to display their reverence to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the Royal Funeral,” she said.
“The Ministry of Interior assigned the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning to carry out the construction of the Royal Crematorium replica shrines,” she added.
The shrines are about 16 metres in diameter and inside, 4.5m by 4.5m square. The total height from the base to the crest is 22.35m, Ms Busaya added.
“There will be at least one Royal Crematorium replica shrine in the main district of all 76 provinces, and in the metropolitan area of Bangkok there will be replicas at nine locations,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Thais from across the country have continued to register as volunteers during the Royal Funeral. Registration for the volunteer program closes tomorrow (Sept 30).
In Yala province, over 18,000 people registered for eight volunteer functions. Most residents chose “general service”, followed by security duties, handling funeral flowers, public relations, medical services, civic duties and transportation and traffic.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Interior Chayapol Thitisak said that the Ministry of Interior had assigned provinces and districts to select appropriate places where sandalwood flowers are to be offered.
The reports also state that more than 19.4 million sandalwood flowers have been made by volunteers, under the concept of “public participation”, to show their devotion to the late King. A target had been set for the production of 36.8 million sandalwood flowers in the regional areas of the country by Sept 20.
The ceremony for the offering of sandalwood flowers will be held twice. The first one will take place before the Royal Cremation day. The governor of each province will preside over the ceremony at an appropriate time, when a bouquet of the flowers, representing each respective province, will be sent to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). The second ceremony will take place on the Royal Cremation day, Oct 26, starting from 9am.
In foreign countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates and Thai temples in various countries to arrange places for the offering of sandalwood flowers. The ceremony overseas will also be held twice.
In the first one, to be held before the Royal Cremation day and presided over by the Thai ambassador or the consul-general, a bouquet of the flowers, representing each country, will be sent to the BMA. The second ceremony will take place on the Royal Cremation day.
The BMA will take the bouquets of sandalwood flowers from all provinces and various countries to the Urn Resting Room, or Ho Plueang, at the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground. They will be burnt on the Royal Cremation day to pay a final tribute and bid farewell to King Bhumibol.
More than 7,000 seats will be prepared for dignitaries participating in the Royal Cremation Ceremony. Speaking after a meeting of the Committee on Ceremonies for the Royal Cremation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated that the seats would be arranged at the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground
. The Bureau of the Royal Household has asked the government to arrange the seats, around 7,000 to 7,500 in number. Of this number, 5,000 are likely to be reserved for dignitaries and 2,000 for those performing their duties in the processions for the Royal Cremation Ceremony.
The general public will not be allowed to enter the ceremonial site during the Royal Cremation Ceremony. However, officials will allow them to stay in the National Theatre area, where public performances will be held. Participants in the Royal Cremation Ceremony will not be allowed to arrive at the ceremonial site in their private cars. Special buses will be arranged for them.
On the Royal Cremation day, the symbolic Royal Cremation begins at 5pm, while the actual Royal Cremation begins at 10pm. The Government has declared the Royal Cremation day a public holiday.
Craftsmen and relevant officials from three government agencies are starting to renovate the royal chariots, royal palanquins and other items to be used in the Royal Cremation ceremony. The three agencies include the Fine Arts Department, the Army Ordnance Department and the Naval Dockyard Department. The renovation began after a religious ceremony for the launching of the renovation had been performed.
The ceremony was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn at the Bangkok National Museum on December 19, 2016 at 14:49, the auspicious time suggested by the Chief Brahmin to the Royal Court. The royal carriages are kept at the Royal Chariot Building in the Bangkok National Museum compound and are brought out for use in important royal ceremonies.
The ceremony is considered a sacred rite that makes it possible for all people involved to be successful in their renovation work. The three agencies inspected the condition of the royal carriages and began restoration of any damaged parts, with the restorations to be completed before the end of September.
The renovation work involves Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot, or the Great Victory Chariot; Wetchayanta Ratcharot; Ratcharot Noi, or Small Chariot; Phra Yannamas Sam Lamkhan, or the Golden Palanquin with Three Poles; Rachentharayan, or the Royal Palanquin with Four Poles; Phra Wo Siwikakan, or the Royal Palanquin with Two Poles; and Kroen Bandai Nak, which is a special inclined plane used to bring the Royal Urn onto and out of the royal carriage.
The most significant carriage is Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot, standing 11.2m high, 18m long and weighing 13.7 tons. The chariot was built in the reign of King Rama I for the Royal Cremation of his father in 1795. Later, in 1799, the King commanded the use of Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot again, to carry the royal remains of his two elder sisters. Since then, the royal chariot has been used to carry the royal remains of Kings, Queens and members of the Royal Family.