Thais turn to 1,066 turtles to celebrate King's birthday

Thais turn to 1,066 turtles to celebrate King's birthday

Well-wishers release sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Chon Buri's Sattahip district on Wednesday as part of the celebrations for the upcoming 65th birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. (Reuters photo)
Well-wishers release sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Chon Buri's Sattahip district on Wednesday as part of the celebrations for the upcoming 65th birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. (Reuters photo)

CHONBURI - Hundreds of people gathered at a beach on Wednesday to release 1,066 turtles into the sea as part of celebrations to mark the birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on Friday.

The King's July 28 birthday was announced by the government as a public holiday this year.

Celebrations were expected to include merit-making ceremonies at temples across the country and a mass alms-giving event for more than 600 monks at Larn Khon Muang, the square in front of City Hall, on Friday.

At the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Chonburi's Sattahip district, men and women from the Royal Thai Navy, students and celebrities released the 1,066 turtles into the sea.

The number 1,066 was chosen to symbolise the number 10 for King Rama X, as His Majesty is known, and the number 66, one more than his age, to wish the King's longevity.

"The main event today is the release of the turtles, which also symbolises longevity," said Athichanan Srisevok, an actress and nature advocate.

"I want to wish long live His Majesty and for him to be healthy."

Some attendees waved white flags bearing the words "Long Live the King".

Thais believe that releasing captive animals is one way of gaining good karma.

The turtles released on Wednesday were raised from eggs collected by the navy from nearby Koh Kram island. Some of those released were as young as a week old.

His Majesty inherited the throne in December after King Bhumibol Adulyade passed away on Oct 13.


Do you like the content of this article?

Protest groups call for action on rising living cost

Members of the 24 June Democracy group, the Labour Network for People's Rights and the Thalufah group rallied outside Government House in Bangkok on Tuesday.

18 Jan 2022

Thanathorn's painting NFTs sell for 3.3 milion baht

Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has sold three of his paintings in a non-fungible token (NFT) auction for more than 3 million baht on Tuesday, with most of the proceeds going to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) group.

18 Jan 2022

Come back (soon)

Covid restrictions are set to ease, with a lowered alert level, changes to colour-code zones, expansion of sandbox provinces and revival of Test & Go entry all under discussion.

18 Jan 2022