The Latest: King participates in ceremony for father’s ashes
BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on the funeral of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (all times local):
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn is participating in a religious ceremony to collect the ashes and relics of his father to be moved to special locations for further Buddhist rites.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated in a specially built crematorium in Bankgok’s royal quarter late Thursday as part of an elaborate five-day funeral capping a year of mourning.
As part of Friday morning’s ceremonies, Bhumibol’s relics were to be taken to the Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall and his ashes to a shrine in the nearby Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
On the final day of the funeral, the relics will be enshrined in part of a Grand Palace throne hall known as the “Heavenly Abode” and the ashes will be enshrined at two temples, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Bovoranives, in Bangkok.
Thai media reports and images posted online have shown smoke rising from the spectacular crematorium built for Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Thousands of black-clad mourners have been waiting in the historic royal quarter of Bangkok for news about the cremation, which is a key moment in Bhumibol’s five-day funeral.
An 8 a.m. ceremony Friday is scheduled for the collection of Bhumibol’s ashes and their transfer to the Grand Palace and the Temple of The Emerald Buddha for further Buddhist rites.
After that, they are set to be enshrined in spiritually significant locations on the last day of the funeral.
Thai television stations are broadcasting classical masked dances and traditional puppet shows as the country awaits word of the cremation of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Some local media are reporting there may be no broadcasts of the specific ceremony which was due to start about 10 p.m. There has been no official announcement confirming that.
Earlier Thursday evening, Bhumibol’s son and successor, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, presided over a symbolic cremation ceremony in which foreign and local dignitaries participated by making offerings of sandalwood flowers.
Thousands of black-clad mourners are waiting in the historic royal quarter of Bangkok where a magnificent golden pavilion containing Bhumibol’s crematorium has been a focal point for his five-day funeral.
A symbolic cremation of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being witnessed by royalty and high-ranking officials from 42 countries.
Orange-robed monks chanted Buddhist prayers to bless Bhumibol’s spirit as the official guests waited in line to walk into a spectacular golden crematorium to make offerings of flowers made from sandalwood.
Cannons and guns fired and the uplifting notes of a royal anthem washed over the plaza where ceremonies are being held.
Tens of thousands of ordinary Thais have congregated nearby after watching solemn funeral processions that carried an urn — representing Bhumibol’s remains — from Bangkok’s Grand Palace to the crematorium.
An actual cremation takes place later in the evening.
The golden urn meant to symbolize late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s remains has been hoisted into the specially built shrine where he will be cremated later Thursday.
Sitting under a nine-tiered white umbrella and accompanied by a palace official, the urn was hoisted into main chamber of the golden-spired crematorium as monks chanted, traditional instruments wailed and artillery fired in the distance.
Thick curtains were then drawn across the crematorium so the monarch’s remains could be prepared for burning with rare sandalwood. His remains were placed in a coffin separately.
Long lines of mourners have formed as Thais wait to enter official sites around Bangkok to pay their respects to late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died a year ago and will be cremated Thursday evening.
Throngs of people dressed in all black waited to enter the temples, parks and other public areas set up as secondary sites to take part in the funeral events. The main funeral is taking place in Bangkok’s historic royal quarter, where tens of thousands of people have gathered to watch the elaborate ceremonies outside the specially built crematorium.
Replicas of the crematorium have been placed in all of the country’s 76 provinces, where people unable to travel can mourn.
After waiting in lines that in some places stretched hundreds of meters, mourners are able to present sandalwood flowers and incense to a photo of the late king.
An elaborate royal procession for Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulayadej has reached the site of his specially built crematorium, where the ceremonial urn will be carried inside the site in another of the intensely solemn funeral rituals.
The chants of monks mixed with the beat of royal drummers as a golden chariot carrying an urn meant to symbolize Bhumibol’s remains arrived at the cremation grounds, built next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The sound of artillery could be heard fired in the distance.
Bhumibol’s remains will be cremated on Thursday evening within a golden-spired crematorium built over a year and representing mystical Mount Meru, where Buddhist and Hindu gods are believed to dwell.
Members of Thailand’s royal family are leading an elaborate procession for King Bhumibol Adulayadej’s funeral ceremonies. Soldiers dressed in traditional uniforms are carrying a symbolic urn around the Grand Palace as they make their way to royal crematorium in Bangkok.
Bodies of royals are traditionally kept in such urns, but Bhumibol and his late mother and sister opted for their remains to be placed in coffins instead.
Thursday’s procession was also attended by Thailand’s junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. A band played songs composed by the late king, while artillery guns were fired in the distance. The elaborate, somber processions will be followed by the cremation Thursday evening.
Thousands of mourners watched the funeral ceremony for Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej from two large video screens set up near a replica of the royal crematorium near a Bangkok monument to an earlier monarch.
Some were in tears at the viewing location near the King Rama V monument Thursday morning as they watched Buddhist monks and current King Maha Vajiralongkorn take part in prayer rituals inside the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall ahead of the somber processions to the crematorium.
A total of 85 replicas of the royal crematorium were built nationwide for those who cannot travel to the capital to witness the cremation ceremony. Nine of the replicas are in Bangkok.
A royal ceremony to begin moving the remains of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium has begun in the royal quarter of Bangkok.
The ceremony will be followed by three separate and intensely solemn processions involving thousands of troops, a golden palanquin, a chariot and a royal gun carriage to move the royal urn representing Bhumibol’s remains from the Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to the crematorium. Thursday’s journey along a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) route will take at least three hours and is being watched by tens of thousands of mourners dressed all in black.
Thais have braved tropical heat and torrential downpours to secure street-side vantage points to witness the funeral, which is spread over five days.
Deceased Thai royals have traditionally been kept upright in elaborate urns during official mourning. But Bhumibol, who spent much of his early life in the West, opted to be put in a coffin, with the urn placed next to it for devotional purposes.