[Article] 12th August - National Mother’s Day of Thailand (H.M. THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY)
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The 12 August is Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's birthday or วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษา สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าฯ พระบรมราชินีนาถ in Thai language. This public holiday is celebrated nationwide as Mother's Day ("WAN MAE HENG CHAT" - วันแม่แห่งชาติ). The Queen is considered as the mother of all Thai people.
Starting a few weeks before the Queen's birthday, all buildings are covered up with Royal symbols and portraits of Her Majesty all over the Thai kingdom.
Born in 1932, Her Majesty the Queen has captured the hearts of the Thai people through her devotion to improving the welfare and well-being of her subjects. The Queen is also known for her efforts in reviving Thailand's folk arts and crafts. Her Majesty's SUPPORT Foundation (Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques) has been established in 1976 to include craft shops in the city and popular tourist areas. It also includes two Thai Folk Arts and Crafts Training Centers at Chitralada Villa and at Bangsai in Ayutthaya.
Every year in August, huge portraits of Her Majesty are raised in temples, administrative buildings, schools, houses, shops by individual people and organizations.
Despite her high office as Queen of the nation, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit is a mother highly regarded by her children. She brought them up in the mold of traditional Thai values in which the junior pay respect to the elder, obey their seniors and learn to be self-sufficient. The benevolence of Her Majesty the Queen praised by her subjects explains the love she has earned from her people who regard her as Mother of the Nation.
On the 12 August early morning time, Thai Buddhist people go to temple and make offerings to monks as usual.
On 12 August, jasmine, symbolic of the selfless virtue of a mother who gives life to her children, is seen everywhere in Thailand. Charitable activities, food offering to monks and donations are part of the events of the day to express children's gratitiude to every mother.
National flags decorate buildings to wish Her Majesty many happy returns of the day and a long life ("SONG PHRA CHAROEUN" - ทรงพระเจริญ).
In civil administrations, there are specific gatherings for the Queen's birthday. On this occasion, civil servants wear their most beautiful clothes. Then they listen to Buddhist sermons and to their director's speech.
During this day or the day before, mothers go to Thai schools. Children say little speechs about their love to their mother. Then every child stand in front of his mother, greet her feet ("WAI" - ไหว้) and say their love towards their mother.
Here is a little Thai text given in temples on 12nd August:
แม่ แม่ แม่ คำนี้ มีความหมาย - Mother Mother Mother. This word has a meaning,
มีพระคุณ มากมาย หลายสถาน - a lot of obligation.
แม่่เป็นได้ หลายสิ่ง หลายประการ - Mother is a lot of things, a lot of sorts.
เป็นธนาคาร เป็นพระพรหม เป็นร่มไทร - She is a bank, she is Brahma, she is tree shade.
เป็นผู้ให้ กำเนิด เกิดลูกรัก - She is giving birth to her children.
เป็นผู้ให้ ที่พัก พิงอาศัย - She is giving them a place to stay.
เป็นผู้ให้ ความการุญ อุ่นกายใจ - She is giving them kindness, warmth.
เป็นผู้ให้ อะไรอะไร ไม่รามือ - She is giving them everything, never slowing down.
ลูกเจ็บไข้ แม่ก็ให้ การรักษา - When the children are sick, the mother cure them.
ลูกโตมา แม่ก็ส่ง เรียนหนังสือ - When the children are growing, the mother sends them studying.
ลูกต้องการ ตำรา แม่หาซื้อ - When the children want something, the mother buys for them.
ลูกปรึกษา หารือ แม่ยินดี - When the children consult their mother, she welcome them.