Thailand ends year of mourning with five day funeral for King Bhumibol

World Today

Thailand ends year or mourning with five day funeral for King Bhumibol

A year of mourning – capped with a five-day funeral – came to an end, as Thailand’s late king Bhumibol Adulyadej was laid to rest. Hundreds-of-thousands turned out to mourn their former king.

CGTN’s Martin Lowe reports from Bangkok.

It’s something most Thai people never wanted to see; the death of their beloved king, accompanied with the painful process of saying goodbye.

But King Bhumibol himself had told his people that death was a part of life and must be accepted.

Five days of funeral ceremonies are now at an end. The king’s body has been cremated, and his ashes blessed and enshrined at temples alongside the Grand Palace.

An estimated 200,000 people came to Bangkok to witness the funeral events. Millions more attended ceremonies around the country.

“His majesty will be in my memory forever. I will tell my children and my grandchildren to follow him as a role model,” one mourner said. “I think Thailand is only able to exist today because of King Bhumipol Adulyadej.”

“I have watched the king and his hard work since I was little. I am proud I was able to come and pay my respects,” another said.

An ornate funeral complex, featuring works of art from across the kingdom, was constructed to house dignitaries from more than 40 countries. In all, the ceremonies cost $90 million to stage.

The complex will be open to visitors throughout November.

The goodbye has been a long one, with a full year of mourning capped with five days of funeral rites. But now Thai people must look forward. Many say that as inspiration for the future they will adopt the king’s teachings to live good and useful lives.

The king promoted what he called a “sufficiency economy,” suggesting people live simply and act with moderation, reasonableness, and resilience. There are calls for its widespread adoption as a way to honor the king’s life and work.