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Fah Thai Magazine Sep/Oct 2017

"FAH THAI" is the in-flight magazine of Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited and is edited and published by MPMI Group Ltd.

KING’S FAREWELL To bid

KING’S FAREWELL To bid adieu to a beloved monarch, the sombre ritual to build a funerary pyre called on the best artistic skills in the land. Words Anjira Assavanonda Photos Suwit Kittitien Thai hearts ached when the dreaded countdown began for the royal cremation ceremony of Thailand’s much-revered monarch, His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. While the heavy cloak of grief covered the country since the day the ‘father of the nation’ passed away, preparations were already underway for a historic and remarkable ceremony scheduled for five days between October 25-29, 2017. The royal crematorium, called the Phra Merumas, was the key component in the cremation ceremony where most of the traditional rituals were performed. The construction of the specialised funeral pyre reserved for royalty came under the responsibility of the Fine Arts Department, of the Ministry of Culture. The grounds of Sanam Luang, the vast green field north of the Grand Palace served as the site for major preparations – including where Phra Merumas was built. Other intricate artwork meanwhile, was prepared at the Office of Traditional Arts on Buddhamonthon sai 5, Nakhon Pathom and also at a few renowned art colleges. The Phra Merumas is a temporary pyre structure, using steel frames that are easy and quick to assemble. After the cremation ceremony is completed, the structure will be demolished and not retained for future royal cremations. According to Thai tradition, funerals are not prepared in advance. Photo Courtesy of the Office of Architecture, the Fine Arts Department 32 33

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