Huge crowd fills Grand Palace to mourn over late Thai king on 1st opening day

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Spining

The first opening day of the throne hall of Thailand’s Grand Palace saw a total of 29,480 mourners pay respect for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Bureau of the Royal Household (BRH) said Saturday.

As Thailand entered into third of week of mourning its late King who passed away on Oct 13, tens of thousands of mourners flocked to Bangkok’s Sanam Luang, the 30-acre open field in front of the palace where the late king’s body is placed. They are being allowed to enter the throne hall to pay tribute before the funeral urn of the deceased king.

The bodies of high-ranking Thai royals are reportedly used to be kept in a golden urn. However, the palace officials are no longer planning to uphold the tradition. Instead, the late king’s body would be placed in a coffin with the symbolic urn nearby.

Black-clad crowds have streamed into the capital from provinces across Thailand since Friday. They began to occupy spaces at the tents arranged by authorities for rest with hope to get the first queue for entry to the throne hall.

The BRH has planned to allow only 10,000 people daily to enter the throne hall from 8 a.m. local time onwards. The plan has to be changed since the tremendous crowd of mourners unceasingly poured into the field.

The first group of 1,600 people were granted entry with no queue numbers since 4 a.m.. Later at 8 a.m., queue numbers were applied.

Free rides of shuttle buses to the palace were offered. Hundreds of volunteers also worked tirelessly, offering ammonia and balms for weakened queuers and collecting garbage around the tightly crammed field.

The death of the 88-year-old King Bhumibol, the world’s longest reign, has plunged the country into sorrow. The government has set a mourning period of one year for the passing of the late king. Mourning ceremonies are held across the country.

More than 300,000 mourners in black packed Sanam Luang and the surrounding areas in front of the Grand Palace on October 22, to sing a special version of the Royal Anthem in honour of King Bhumibol. It is estimated that there are more than 40,000 daily visitors to the palace to mourn over the late king.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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