August 10, 2015
Mother’s Day in Thailand is not celebrated during May as in many other countries but it is celebrated on the12th of August each year to mark the birthday of the queen, Her Majesty Queen Sikrit, Queen Regent of Thailand.
Where: Across Thailand
Born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara in 1932, Her Majesty Queen has been revered by the Thais through her enduring charity work since the 1950’s.
Being a Queen, she also promoted acceptance and tolerance to the local Muslim minorities in Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, in the southernmost provinces of Thailand. She is also adored for her humanitarian efforts in the tsunami disaster in 2004, making her very popular among the masses. Her Majesty Queen is venerated in the country’s provinces not only because of her compassion and goodwill, but also because the monarchy is deemed as semi-divine.
The Thai people celebrate Her Majesty Queen Sirikit as a mother of the people of Thailand, and at the same time, pay tribute and honour to everybody’s own mothers. The event is also known as “Wan Mae” or literally Mother’s day. Preparations start weeks before August 12. Houses will be decorated with the portrait of Her Majesty Queen, while people and various organizations will raise national flags at their homes and offices all over the Kingdom of Thailand. Lanterns, garlands, and colourful lights brighten up the streets with an array of her portraits on display.
Mother’s day in Thailand is also seen as a time for family reunions and gatherings. The day usually will start with children giving alms to the monks. They will go to their mothers afterwards (even grandmothers and aunts); offering them a garland of flowers with a letter telling how important they are in their lives. Typically, a child will kneel in front of the mother, kissing the back of their hands while on top of their mother’s feet or what Thais called as “krub”.
A spectrum of activities is also lined up throughout the day. In Bangkok, parades are all around the city. Fireworks displays add up to the beauty of the festivity, along with the rich and vibrant colours of street lights. The heart of the celebration is near the Grand Palace in Sanam Luang, north of the Royal Residence.
Hotels and airlines are fully booked at this time of the year, just like the other national holidays. Tourists from around the world flock to Thailand to witness the grand celebration of Her Majesty Queen’s birthday and how Thai’s celebrate their “Wan Mae”.