Chakri Memorial Day (Wan Chakkri) – 6 April

Chakri Memorial Day (Wan Chakkri) - 6th April 2016

Commemorates the establishment of the current royal lineage Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke in April 6th 1782 by King Rama I. Officially known as King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day

According to the History prior to the establishment of Chakri Dynasty the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) was in turmoil. Aggressive Burmese troops occupied the Northern Kingdom of Lan Na and were proceeding down south to the Siamese Royal Capital of Ayutthaya. A young man of noble Ayutthaya descent named Thong Duang commanded the bitter fights in the Northern war. Despite the efforts to fight back, they were gradually forced to fall back until the Burmese had gotten a grip on the Royal Capital. Ayutthaya fell on April 8th, 1767 and the Siamese people fled to the city of Thonburi located further downriver on the mighty Chaophraya River. The beautiful city of Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese, temples plundered, gold and jewelry looted, monks and women were cruelly effected. But the Burmese had suffered heavily in the taking of Ayutthaya and knew the Siamese would return to take up battle. Knowing they could not hold Ayutthaya, the Burmese retreated after only one week. War campaigns continued over the years, ebbing and flowing, until the Siamese armies united during 1779 in Thonburi. Thong Duang now known as Chakri became the military commander. He realized that the Royal Court of King Taaksin was in such disharmony because the King, weary of wars, had resorted to religion rather than addressed the needs of his subjects. The lack of leadership caused rebellions to break out. Rebels marched on Thonburi, calling for the overthrow and replacement of King Taaksin with their beloved “Chakri.” As a result Chaophraya Chakri took the title “King Ramathibodi” and reigned as King Rama I from April 6 1782 until 1809.

In commemorating “Chakri Day,” the national flag is proudly displayed by the people of Thailand and both government officials and members of the community participate in traditional ceremonies, making offerings of flowers and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House of Chakri.

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