Photo by Greg Rodgers
Queen Sirikit of Thailand will be celebrating her 80th birthday this Sunday, August 12th.
People in Thailand dearly love their king and queen. The Queen's Birthday in Thailand is a dutifully celebrated festival with crowds, performances, and a long weekend. Many wear pink to show their love and respect on the day that also serves as Mother's Day in Thailand.
Already preparations are underway here in Chiang Mai -- the northern capital -- to celebrate the Queen's Birthday. Stages have been constructed around Tapae Gate and bamboo structures are in place with traditional weaving and other cultural demonstrations.
The Queen of Thailand is the world's longest-serving consort to a monarch, just as the King of Thailand, with a reign of 66 years so far, is the world's longest-serving monarch. She learned piano, French, and English by age 13 and even studied music in Paris. She is both a writer and a songwriter.
Fate brought Queen Sirikit and her king together. In 1948, while driving in Switzerland, King Bhumibol crashed his Fiat into the back of a truck. He was hospitalized and nearly lost his eyesight. During his stay in the hospital, Queen Sirikit visited frequently and the two hit it off. The royal couple were married in 1950, before she turned 18 years old. Queen Sirikit's parents had to cosign the marriage certificate to make her into a queen!
The king and queen now have three daughters and a son together.
Transportation fills up quickly during these holidays! If you find yourself stuck in Chiang Mai, here are some options for getting from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.