Constitution Day: December 10
Constitution Day is a public holiday in Thailand.
December 10 in Thailand is Constitution Day, held annually to commemorate the passage of Thailand into a regime of constitutional monarchy in 1932. Thailand since then has had 17 constitutions and charters, and numerous governments that were as much as military dictatorships as electoral democracies. All governments though have always recognized the king as the head of state.
History of Constitution Day in Thailand
Thailand had an absolute monarchy until June 24, 1932, when a group of young intellectuals educated abroad and seeking to have democracy in Thailand started a bloodless revolution that would eventually end centuries of absolutist monarchy. This group became known as the People’s Party or Khana Rasdr and was led by Luan Pradit Manudharm. To avoid any bloodshed, King Rama VII agreed with the revolutionaries’ demands and handed over the country’s first constitution, having already prepared for the transition to a democracy for Thailand. Even so, the king still is recognized as head of state, head of the armed forces, upholder of all religions, and inviolable in person. The power of the king emanates from the Thai people who, even after the revolution, still hold in great admiration the king. Thailand has seen many coups attempts and significant internal political turmoil since the revolution in 1932, but still the king holds his place and continues to be protected by the constitution, being regarded by the people as a symbol and character of stability for the country.
Thailand’s Constitution Day Traditions, Customs and Activities
On Constitution Day, there are countrywide festivities. Buildings are decorated with national flags, portraits of the king, and bright illuminations. The Thai people show gratitude in many ways to their king for allowing them to be part of the governance of Thailand. The government promotes several activities like seminars and exhibitions in an attempt to promote understanding of the constitution and how the country’s constitutional monarchy works. The government hopes to encourage new generations to be concerned and active citizens and exercise their right to vote.