Tuesday, May 9, 2017
A Royal Funeral in the Grand Old Manner
Seth Mydans' story on the funeral of Thailand's late king, planned for October. The event has to wait for the anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's death because the preparations are so elaborate. The top image shows the planned structure of his funeral pyre, and the image above shows it under construction.
Oddly enough, the huge structure isn't even burned; the king is cremated in a chamber in the center, and the whole thing then dismantled and distributed to monasteries or others who might want the pieces. But the expense is no doubt still very great.
That this still makes sense to Thais who miss their king of 70 years says much to me about the riches lavished on dead rulers from the Pharaohs and the Kings of Ur to Chin Shih Huang Ti.