Saturday, May 4, 2019

The new king of Buddhist Thailand (photos)

Associated Press (; Dhr. Seven, Seth Auberon, Pfc. Sandoval (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

King Rama X (Maha Vajiralongkorn) in a video still putting on heavy crown (AP).
King officially crowned, boosting regal power
Phra Sivali, arhat monk
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn was officially crowned Saturday in an elaborate centuries-old royal tradition that last happened seven decades ago.

The coronation represents a renewal of the Thai monarchy's power after the October 2016 death of then Prince Vajiralongkorn's revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It also comes amid more than a decade of political strife, including a 2014 military coup and a contentious election less than two months ago.

The beloved former King Bhumibol (RIP)
) The 66-year-old King Vajiralongkorn has served as king for more than two years since he assumed the throne.

But on Saturday, he took the crown from the chief Brahmin, a Hindu priest who has played a guiding part in the mixed Buddhist-Hindu ceremony, during a televised ritual from the Grand Palace.
The 200-year-old, 16-pound (7.3-kg) heavy crown was handed to the king, now known as Rama X, as part of the third and final rite of the coronation ceremony, the presentation of royal regalia.
Everyone loved the former King Bhumibol
Earlier, the new king wore a simple white robe as he entered a small pavilion where he was briefly showered with water from several holy rivers and ponds and other sources.

Other water was poured on him from old royal water vessels. The rite, known as the Royal Purification Ceremony, took place amid music from drums, conch shells and other instruments. Outside the palace, artillery was fired in a salute to the monarch.

This sucks. I'd rather be a playboy again.
"This ceremony is significant to Thailand because the monarchy... is a very important institution of our country and is the soul of our nation," said Naowarat Buakluan, a 41-year-old civil servant.

"If you ask why the ceremony is being held this year when his majesty has already ascended the throne, it's because this is the right moment. Previously we Thais were mourning the loss of our beloved late king."

King Vajiralongkorn inherits a nation in political turmoil, with the powerful army entrenched in government for five years after staging a coup in 2014. More

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