Happy Birthday, King Rama X

Today is the Thai holiday of Wan Khao Phansa (วันเข้าพรรษา) marking the beginning of Vassa, the three-month rains’ retreat also known as Buddhist Lent, following yesterday’s holiday of Wan Asanhabucha (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) commemorating the Buddha’s first discourse. This year, however, the twin Buddhist holidays coincide with another important holiday, that of Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร), which in English is simply the Birthday of King Rama X, incorporating his title and a small part of his full name. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) was born on July 28, 1952, and ascended to the Thai throne upon the death of his father, King Bhumiphol Adulyajej (Rama IX), on October 13, 2016. For more on King Rama X, please see my post on Asian Meanderings.

For collectors of Thai stamps, today marks the long-delayed release of the first King Rama X definitive stamps, 12 denominations ranging from 1 baht to 100 baht for a total face value of 250 baht. In addition to sheets of 20 for each value, all 12 are also available in a souvenir sheet. Additionally, Thailand Post has released a 10-baht commemorative stamp marking the king’s 66th birthday today.

This has been a relatively quiet year for Thai stamps; I have yet to report on a Thailand-Romania joint issue that was released at the end of May and a booklet and postal card released to mark the World Cup championships that appeared without prior announcement in mid-June. August usually sees an abundance of releases with annual commemorations of Thailand Post Day, ASEAN Day and Mothers Day (the Queen’s birthday) but thus far I haven’t seen any new issue announcements. I hope those will appear soon.

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