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Father’s Day in Thailand falls on December 5th, the King’s birthday.  I wouldn’t normally post about this day as it’s covered on countless blogs and news sites, but this year I happened to come across some beautiful Thai art celebrating this very important day in Thailand.  Outside St. Gabriel’s School in the old part of Bangkok were displays of student art of the king.  Everywhere one goes here in Thailand are images of the king and after a certain point you think you’ve seen all of them.  There’s something very poignant about art created by young people and then displayed publicly:

After a bit of research I discovered some interesting information about what goes into the making of a Royal Crest in Thailand. Royal Crests are designed for separate occasions.

 

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     Thai citizens submitted designs for the Royal Crest for King Bumiphol Adulyadej’s Royal Crest for his 84th birthday and the one above won. This crest is richly imbued with symbols from Buddhist and Hindu mythology and Chinese culture. Atop the royal crest lies the Great Crown of Victory, one of the five royal regalias, made during the reign of Rama I and only worn when a Thai monarch ascends the thrown. Similar to the stupas seen in Thai temples, it is a multi-tiered conical diadem, finishing with a tapering spire. Below the Great Crown of Victory is the number 9 in Thai script signifying the 9th reign in the Chakri dynasty. In the center are Bumiphol Adulyadej’s initials in Thai script, Pho Po Ro, in gold, the color of monarchy. Seven-tier white Sawettachatra umbrellas are found on both sides of the crest signifying the seven Buddhist factors of enlightenment: awareness, wisdom, effort, delight, tranquillity, concentration and upekkha or neutral feeling. In traditional Thai beliefs, there are seven levels of heaven from Chatumaharachika to Paranimmitsawatdee, the seventh level reserved for enlightened or nearly enlightened persons. The white color of the umbrella signifies the color of the top of Mount Phra Sumeru, which is the residence of Siva, a great deity in Brahman belief.Lotus buds are located beneath the Royal Umbrellas, symbols of Buddhist purity. The rabbit at the bottom represents 2011, the Year of the Rabbit from the twelve-year animal cycle from the Chinese Zodiac. In 2011 King Bumibol Adulyadejcelebrates his 7th cycle: 84 years.