We are celebrating Chulalongkorn Day on October 23 this year. The day is also known as Piyamararaj Day. It is an annual celebration to remember one of the most famous rulers of Thailand, King Chulalongkorn. His full name was Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poraminthra Maha Chulalongkorn Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua. The day is usually celebrated on his death anniversary, October 23. But the day is observed on Monday if the actual date falls on a Sunday. King Chulalongkorn was responsible for many central and popular reforms that improved the people’s living standards. It made him one of the most loved monarchs in the history of Thailand.
History of Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day
What is it like to be one of the most loved monarchs of all time? To truly understand, we have to ask King Chulalongkorn, the fifth monarch of Siam. He was also known as King Rama V. He is considered one of the greatest rulers in Thailand’s history.
Thailand was historically known as Siam and is officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand. It is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of about 70 million. Thailand shares borders with Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar and has a maritime border with India and Indonesia. Thailand is a country that has witnessed several coups, political turmoil, and several rulers throughout its history. The region’s history started 20,000 years ago with continuous human habitation to the present day. Large-scale empires began to rule the area from Two B.C., starting with the Kingdom of Funan. The period also witnessed the spread of Hindu culture from India. By 1782, the Chakri Dynasty established the Rattanakosin Kingdom, with Rama I as the ruler of Siam.
The period that followed saw conflicts with neighboring nations with the involvement of European powers. Siam became powerful and extended its control and influence over the borders. They occasionally clashed with the Burmese but created suzerainty over large portions of Laos and Cambodia. After the untimely death of his predecessor due to malaria, Prince Chulalongkorn took the throne. During his time, he initiated many social, economic, and political reforms which further improved the living conditions of his citizens. He started centralization, abolished slavery, and established a privy council without bloodshed. The abolition of slavery was one of the keystone events in the history of Thailand. It made him the beloved Great King of all the people of Siam.
Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day timeline
The discovery of Homo erectus fossils, such as Lampang man, is an example of archaic hominids.
The Ban Chiang sites are the earliest known center of copper and bronze production.
The formation of the Chakri Dynasty, by Rama I takes place.
Queen Debsirindra gives birth to King Chulalongkorn on October 1.
Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day FAQs
When did Thailand abolish slavery?
King Chulalongkorn officially abolished slavery in Thailand in 1905 during his reign. He issued the Abolition Siamese Slave Act in 1905, under which slavery has been prohibited in Thailand since then.
Did Thailand fight in WWII?
Thailand initially adopted a neutral position during the war. But the Japanese invasion of the island called for a truce, and Thailand joined the Japanese Empire in 1941.
Why is Thailand named ‘Thailand?’
The word “Thai” means “freedom.” The word also represents the name of the largest ethnic group in Thailand. Hence, the name was adopted to represent the country.
Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day Activities
Visit the Equestrian Statue
Visit the Equestrian statue in the Royal Plaza, Dusit district. Show respect for the great monarch by placing flowery wreaths at the statue.
List all the accomplishments of the king
King Chulalongkorn has accomplished a long list of great deeds in his time. He brought European style to the region and kept a good relationship with all the great powers of his time. Try to list all the accomplishments of the king that made significant changes in society.
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation not colonized by Europeans. But the country still has a European touch in its architecture. Visit the country on this day to learn more about it.
5 Amazing Facts About Thailand That You Should Know
The capital of Thailand
“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom” is the official name of the capital city of Bangkok.
A strict underwear policy
It is a punishable offense to leave your residence without underwear in Thailand.
The beloved monarchs
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated on the queen’s and king’s birthdays, respectively.
A complex language
The Thai language has 44 consonants, 32 vowels, and at least five tones — making it one of the hardest to learn.
Europeans never colonized Thailand.
Why We Love Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day
King Chulalongkorn was responsible for abolishing slavery in Thailand. We love such powerful and inspiring actions, and we love to celebrate a day for such an eminent personality.
Due to the efforts of Chulalongkorn, Thailand was never fully colonized. His diplomacy is an effective tool in keeping the country safe.
Kept good relations with other nations
King Chulalongkorn traveled extensively to other nations and maintained good relationships. His travels outside the country taught him a lot. His actions are nothing short of heroic, and we love to dedicate a day to appreciating his achievements.
Chulalongkorn Day / Piyamararaj Day dates