Queen Mother’s Birthday and Mother’s Day in Thailand Date in the current year: August 12, 2024

Queen Mother’s Birthday and Mother’s Day in Thailand Queen Mother’s birthday, also known as Queen Dowager’s birthday or Queen Sirikit’s birthday, is a national holiday in Thailand honoring the mother of the incumbent King Maha Vajiralongkorn. It is also Mother’s Day in Thailand.

Queen Sirikit was born on August 12, 1932 to Prince Nakkhatra Mangkala Kitiyakara and his wife Mom Luang Bua Snidvongs. She spent her early childhood in Thailand, but moved to Europe at the age of 13 because her father pursued a diplomatic career.

Sirikit met Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had ascended to the throne of Thailand by that point, in Paris, where her father was working at the Thai Royal Embassy, and Bhumibol was visiting, taking a break from his studies in Switzerland. They explored the city’s tourist attractions together and found out they had quite a lot in common.

After Bhumiol was injured in a car accident in 1948, Sirikit came to Lausanne to visit him in the hospital where he was recovering. While there, she met Princess Mother Sangwan, who took a liking to Sirikit and encouraged her to finish her studies in Switzerland, so that she and Bhumibol could get to know each other better.

The couple got engaged in Lausanne the following year. Their wedding took place on April 28, 1950, a week before Bhumibol’s official coronation. After that, the newlyweds returned to Europe to finish their education. They came back to Thailand in 1952, and the Queen took upon her royal duties. She even served as the Regent of Thailand for several months in 1956, while the king was temporarily ordained as a monk according to a Buddhist tradition.

The couple’s eldest child, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, was born in Switzerland, but all her younger siblings – Prince (now King) Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak – were born in Bangkok. The Queen gave birth to Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya at the age of 18, and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak was born when Queen Sirikit was 24.

Queen Sirikit is widely revered among her subjects, especially in remote parts of Thailand, where the ruling dynasty is viewed as semi-divine. Queen Mother is particularly popular among Thai Muslims due to her work in promoting tolerance and understanding. Although Sirikit has refrained from public appearances since suffering a stroke in 2012, her birthday remains a national holiday. The celebration begins on August 1 (Women’s Day) and lasts for almost two weeks, culminating on August 12.

During the festivities, the streets are decorated with Sirikit’s portraits, flowers, colored lights and national flags. The celebration includes candle-lighting ceremonies held throughout the country, charitable events, fireworks displays, and other activities in honor of Her Majesty the Queen.

Since 1976, Queen Sirikit’s birthday has also been celebrated as Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was originally introduced in Thailand in 1950, but two and a half decades later, its date was changed from April 15 to August 12 to honor Queen Sikirit as the mother of all Thai people. It is customary for Thai children to give their mothers small gifts decorated with jasmine, which is regarded as the Queen’s flower.

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