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Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Thailand

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day 2017 and 2018

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day is an important holiday for many Thai people.

YearDateDayHoliday
201723 OctMonChulalongkorn Memorial Day
201823 OctTueChulalongkorn Memorial Day

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day, or Wan Piyamaharaj, gives Thai citizens an opportunity to pay respect to King Chulalongkorn. To many people, King Chulalongkorn was an important Thai leader who revitalised Thailand for the 20th century. He was loved by most of his subjects due to his progressive policies and diplomatic measures. Chulalongkorn Memorial Day celebrates his life and accomplishments. This holiday is celebrated in Thailand on October 23 each year.

Life of Chulalongkorn

Chulalongkorn was born into the House of Chakri as the son of King Rama IV. As a child, Chulalongkorn held a position in the royal court of Siam. Along with this political experience, Thailand’s most beloved leader learned much through formal schooling. As a student, he studied biology, swordsmanship, engineering, English, and anthropology.

According to his teachers, Chulalongkorn was a man of many talents. When he became the leader of Thailand, he toured colonised areas like Singapore. After studying European politics and military science, he westernised the Thai government and military. Many scholars believe that Chulalongkorn’s actions allowed Thailand to maintain much sovereignty during the peak of global colonisation efforts by European powers.

Important Acts

  • Economic Reform

During King Chulalongkorn’s 42-year rule of Thailand, he implemented many policies that bolstered the Thai economy. These measures helped Thai people from across all social classes. By using a Western economic model, Chulalongkorn was able to increase the per capita income of many Thai citizens. These pure economic efforts were aided by policies that removed institutions that extracted resources and income from the people of Thailand.

  • Abolition of Slavery and the Corvee System

For moral and economic reasons, King Chulalongkorn introduced many laws that made the extractive institutions of slavery and the corvee system illegal in Thailand. In Thailand, the corvee system was a forced labour model that forced certain groups in Thailand to work for the Thai government with limited compensation. Chulalongkorn viewed this system to be as immoral as slavery. To ensure that Thai citizens would be able to enjoy the freedom of choice and the fruits of their labor, he eradicated all forms of forced labour in Thailand.

  • Implementation of Western Values

Since Chulalongkorn was well-versed in the teachings of Western philosophers like Hobbes and Locke, he sought to expand positive European values to his people. During hia reign, people enjoyed many rights, including freedom of speech and the right to assembly.

All of these accomplishments caused the Thai people to love and respect King Chulalongkorn.

Celebrations

  • Speeches

Many Thai politicians and public figures give speeches to show their respect for King Chulalongkorn. These speeches are usually oriented around themes like Thai unity and patriotism.

  • Lectures

At major universities in Thailand, students can attend special lectures about Thai history and King Chulalongkorn. These lectures are excellent opportunities for people to learn about specialised topics like the long-term effects of Chulalongkorn’s economic policies.

  • Visit Memorials

Many people pay tribute to King Chulalongkorn by laying wreaths at public memorials. One of the most famous locations for this activity is the Equestrian Statue in the Royal Plaza. This is also the site of an important Chulalongkorn Memorial Day ceremony.

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day is an opportunity for Thai citizens to learn about their nation’s history while paying respects to one of the most important Thai kings. While Chulalongkorn Memorial Day is a major holiday in Thailand, most businesses do not close on October 23 each year. Instead, some shops offer special deals to celebrate the event. Most government offices and schools close during Chulalongkorn Memorial Day.