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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 “I

KING’S FAREWELL “I feel proud to have done my duty this time. Proud, but without joy, because no one would ever want this to happen. Since it is unavoidable, I did my best to complete the work. For me, this is one of the most important work (to be done,) as it is at the heart of the Phra Merumas,” said Mr. Phichit. ORNAMENTATION OF THE ROYAL CHARIOT Since ancient times, the royal chariot or the Ratcharot has been traditionally used for royal cremations. In Rattanakosin Period, construction of the so-called Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot (the Royal Chariot of Great Victory) was recorded in 1795. It was used to carry the remains of the King’s father, Somdet Phra Borom Chanok to be cremated on the Phra Merumas. The Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot appeared once again to carry the remains of King Bhumibol Adulyadej to the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang. Leading the front is a smaller royal chariot called Ratcharot Noi which His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch rode. Woodcraft and ornamentation have been done on all the royal Clockwise from Top Artisans gold plate the wheel for one of the royal chariots. Artisans and volunteers put their greatest efforts on wood carving works to be decorated on the royal chariots. vehicles used in the ceremony. The Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot, for instance, was entirely adorned with decorated glass and partly gold-plated. All its wheels were remade for the grand ceremony. Most of the craftsmanship involved in the Royal Cremation Ceremony completed by the end of September. After that, a full rehearsal made sure that every component of the ceremony had flawless implementation befitting a great king. This final offering represented the gratitude of an entire nation for all the things the monarch had done for the Thai people. The Ratcharot Noi (The Minor Royal Chariot) for the Supreme Patriarch to ride leading the procession. The Ratcharot Rang Puen (The Royal Cannon Chariot) is a new royal vehicle representing King Bhumibol’s status as Head of the Thai Armed Forces. Mongkol Sirisong, a 61-year-old volunteer, is responsible for carving small pieces of wood. The former mechanic of the Naval Dockyard Department who was once skilled at sawing off parts of a cooler is now using his skill to carve the designs into small pieces of wood that will be assembled into the royal coffin and the Phra Kosa Chan. His workplace is in a temporary structure at Sanam Luang. “For more than three months, I’ve come here every day from 8am to late in the afternoon. Some days the work even finished as late as 6pm. I applied for this work because it’s something most people would like to do once in a life time — the work that would be contributed to the King. Most importantly, the royal coffin that I had been a small part in making it is the closest element to the King’s body,” he said. 82 38

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