Thailand on Friday celebrated the 65th birthday of King Vajiralongkorn, who ascended to the throne last December, with religious ceremonies, merit-making and charity events.
Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha led a group of ministers and senior government officials in an alms-giving act with 650 Buddhist monks in Bangkok, an event aimed at making merit in honour of the King, reports Efe news.
Other merit-making acts such as releasing fish and turtles back into the wild were carried out by the King’s well-wishers days before his birthday.
The Thai government called on people to decorate their homes with the national flag during the King’s birthday, which is a public holiday.
Vajiralongkorn, who has lived much of his life abroad, was proclaimed King of Thailand on December 1, 2016, following the death of his father, Bhumibol Adulyadej two months earlier.
However, he will not be officially crowned until after Bhumibol’s cremation ceremony scheduled for October 26.
Since ascending to the throne, Vajiralongkorn has presided over several legal reforms that, among others, have brought crown assets and royal state agencies responsible for his security under his sole control.