While the king said, he didn’t want people to weep at his passing, Thailand is still pretty deep in mourning.
The declared one-year period of mourning is divided into several stages. Memorial services are held on the seventh, 50th and 100th day after death. The public was asked to wear black for 30 days after the passing of the beloved king. On 14 November this period was over, but Thai people and Thai residents continue to wear black. Even today, and we are fast approaching the 100 day mark.
The departed king is on public display in a special building at the temple where the monks continue to chant for the first 100 days. And maybe longer. The chants help to release good energies from the fading personality and benefit the deceased. As long as the body is present, the spirit of the departed benefits from gifts, chants and sermons.
The cremation is deferred and expected earliest in October 2017, so mourners have time to show love and respect and offer food to the monks as part of merit-making. The monks who are present throughout this period will conduct religious funeral rites and memorial services.
During the last two and a half months concerts and major entertainment were cancelled or postponed. There were no fireworks and countdowns on New Year. While the Chaophraya River boats with their dinner cruises operate as usual, there is no loud music and some of the ships have dimmed their lights. However, national museums and historical parks in Thailand are free for everyone and ATMs don’t charge transfer fees when getting money from another bank until January 31.
Will the country come back to its usual happy go lucky atmosphere? Will the colors be ‘switched back on’?