People in Thailand are celebrating King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne.
Andrew Biggs describes the celebrations, part of which is a procession by royal barges on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok.
Personally, I had my own amazing experience. Yesterday afternoon, i was at the Royal Barge Procession rehearsal. I watched those 52 majestic barges sail down Chao Phraya River. Then, as the sun went down, I cross the river to get to Snam Luang and then Rama 4. As I crossed the river, I saw hundreds of thousands iof Thais lighting candles paying homage to His Majesty the King. Many stood on the bridge against the backdrop of Wat Arun, which was lit up beautifully. It was one of the most stunning things I have ever seen.
Agam's Gecko gives the reasons for the King's popularity.
There really is no doubt about it: HM the King is the most deeply loved and revered monarch anywhere in the world. There is a reason for that. Throughout his life, he has exemplified the very highest model of what a monarch should be for his people. And in return, his people — of every religion and ethnic group, from the hill tribe peoples of the north to the Muslims of the south — love him with all their hearts. Having watched this relationship over the past 15 years, particularly his skillful guidance through times of crisis, I can truthfully say that I love him too.
My Thailand Diary maintained by a Lilian, a Swiss resident in Thailand agrees with the above sentiment
The King will make a public appearance today, standing on the palace balcony to greet the tens of thousands waiting for him. His Majesty has truely won the heart of his people! And Thai people express it in a way that is seldom seen anywhere else in the world. All the Thai people today, whatever their politics, birthplace, religion or creed, exclaim with pride in their hearts: ‘’Chai Yo'’ and ‘’Long Live the King.'’
Kitty at See What the Cat Drags in blog links to the translation of the King's speech on the occasion.