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Thailand generals lead enormous royal funeral pyre ceremony

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Bangkok: Thailand’s generals took center stage at a ceremony blessing the start of construction of an enormous funeral pyre for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a vivid illustration of the army’s intimate links to the palace.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, led the ceremony, which saw a crane erect the first of a series of giant steel pillars that will form the cornerstones of what will be a largely wooden pyre next to Bangkok’s sprawling Grand Palace.

The ceremony was infused with the religious ritual that permeates palace life with Buddhist monks chanting mantras and Hindu Brahmin priests blowing conches as workers in hard hats fixed the pillar to a concrete plinth.

The widely admired Bhumibol was the world’s longest serving monarch until his October death.

He ruled for 7 decades and his passing has plunged Thailand into an unknown future with his unpredictable and less known son Maha Vajiralongkorn on the throne.

The pyre will represent Mount Meru, a mountain that is the allegorical centre of the universe in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cosmology.

Bhumibol’s body will be placed at the centre before it is set alight with the belief his spirit will return to the mountain.

No date has been given for the funeral.

Source by: Internet

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