Explore Bangkok

Today is Chakri Memorial Day

Events — By Kevin Revolinski on April 6, 2011 at 1:47 am
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Or at least that’s the short name. In Thailand names tend to stretch on. (See the true name of Bangkok for the world’s record in city-name length.) So today’s full label is King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day.

Today is a national holiday in Thailand, meaning banks and public offices will be closed. Some private businesses also have the day off, though the usual commercial shops, restaurants and tourist attractions will remain open. Every April 6 is Chakri Memorial Day which celebrates not just the 1782 founding of Bangkok, but in fact the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty. These are the Rama kings, including the current King Bhumibol Adulyadej who is Rama IX.

A photo of current King Rama IX on left and his brother King Rama VIII from the Rama VII Museum


The Chakri Dynasty came to power when General Chao Phraya Chakri (born Thong Duang in 1736) put down a rebellion against King Taksin. When Taksin was removed from the throne, the General became King Rama I and ruled from from April 6 1782 until 1809.

Under Taksin the new capital had been established at Thonburi (the west side of the Chao Phraya River here in Bangkok).

Being an experienced military leader, King Rama I recognized Thonburi as vulnerable to attacks from the west, and so Rattanakosin, an island to the east of the river, became the capital and came to be known as Krung Thep or Bangkok.

Today the Thai will make offerings at the many statues of the Kings of the Chakri Dynasty.

Thai history is quite fascinating and full of some colorful characters. To dig deeper into the story of the Chakri Dynasty, check out some of these Bangkok museums:

Rattanakosin Museum
National Museum
Vimanmek Palace (commemorating King Rama V or King Chulalongkorn)
King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) Museum

Tags: chakri memorial day, thailand holidays
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