Holiday Focus: Thailand’s Chulalongkorn Day
On October 23, Thailand honors its beloved monarch Chulalongkorn (also known as King Rama V), who ruled from 1868–1910. Ascending to the throne at age 15, Chulalongkorn is credited with abolishing slavery, reforming the economy and government, protecting Thailand from colonization, and modernizing the transportation system and the military. He promoted education throughout the country, established a currency, introduced Western medicine, and built the first museum. Today, Chulalongkorn is revered for his benevolent reign. To honor him, on October 23, the day of his death, people in Bangkok place wreaths at the Equestrian Statue in the Royal Plaza, light candles, and attend festivals and performances in honor of the king.
World Holidays Featured This Month
Cyprus – Independence Day – October 1
Celebrates Cyprus’s independence from Britain, gained in 1960.
Nigeria – National Day – October 1
Commemorates Nigeria’s independence after 60 years under British control (1900-1960).
India – Ghandi Jayanti (Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday) – October 2
Celebrates the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Admirers embark on pilgrimages to the Raj Ghat, in Delhi, where Gandhi was cremated. Spinning and weaving (which Gandhi promoted as a way to combat British monopolies) are also done in his honor on this day.
Germany – German Unification Day – October 3
Commemorates the reunification of East and West Germany. Germans celebrate with a street festival, speeches, and marches. Each year, festivities are held in a different German state.
North & South Korea – Han’gul Day – October 9
Commemorates the founding of the Korean alphabet, which was developed by scholars in 1446. It is celebrated with Confucian rituals, traditional dance performances, and calligraphy competitions.
Taiwan – Double Tenth Day – October 10
Named for its date (the tenth day of the tenth month), this day celebrates the Chinese Revolution in 1911, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China. It is celebrated with rallies, parades, performances, and fireworks.