Sacred rituals for the coronation of the King of Thailand began on Saturday with senior officials collecting water in different ceremonies from 100 various water sources across the country’s 76 provinces. The collection was televised on all Thai channels. The water will be used for in purification rites.
This water, stored in traditional vases, will be used for the ablution of the 66-year-old King on 4 May in the purification and anointment ceremonies ahead of his crowning that same day.
Its use in coronations goes back to the founding of the Chakri dynasty in the 18th century and is based on a Brahmin tradition. His Majesty is the tenth monarch of this dynasty.
The water was collected between 11.52 a.m. to 12:38 p.m. and will be blessed in Buddhist ceremonies in the significant temples across Thailand, first on the 8th and 9th of April and later on 18 April. The latter ceremony will see the water combined in one of the oldest temples in Bangkok – Wat Suthat.
The timing of the collection was specific because said times are “deemed especially auspicious in Thai astrology,” according to Reuters.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, or King Rama X, will have his coronation next month. The announcement of his long-awaited coronation was made on 1 January by the Royal Household Bureau.
The coronation and celebration festivities would take place from 4 May through 6 May.
His Majesty will be crowned in a ceremony on 4 May with a celebration procession the following day. The 5th of May will also see a ceremony “bestow the royal name” as per Thai royal tradition. On 6 May, His Majesty will meet the public and foreign dignitaries in a “grand audience.”
As King Rama X’s father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX) was beloved in Thailand, his death led to widespread mourning across the country. King Rama X took the throne after the passing of his father in 2016.