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Department of Fine Arts prepares for royal cremation

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The Department of Fine Arts is gearing up for a mass religious ceremony in preparation for the Great Funeral Chariot and a cremation altar to be used in the cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. According to the report, the ceremony will be held on December 19th during which members of the Department of Traditional Arts and those from the Ordinance Department as well as the Naval Dockyard Department will attend.

The Department of Fine Arts is expected to spend at least 10 months or up to a year to refurbish the Great Funeral Chariot and complete the construction of the royal urn and the royal funeral pyre.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak Patimapakorn, a meeting will be held among those involved in the preparation to ensure that everything goes in line with the ancient tradition.

The construction of the royal funeral pyre will take up to two-thirds of Sanam Laung. Cooperation from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will be sought to facilitate the construction, which is scheduled to be completed in September next year.

On New Year’s Eve, a prayer ceremony will kick off at 9 pm at temples across the nation to mark the end of the year. People will be encouraged to observe 89 seconds of silence as a tribute to the late King at 11:45 pm before the monks proceed to ring the bell at midnight. A candle procession will be held nine minutes past midnight.

On December 5th, a ceremony will take place on Bhumibol Bridge to commemorate the passing of His Majesty. The event will kick off at 6:19 am when the crowds sing the royal anthem and a song composed by the late King. The bridge will be reopened to commuters after 8 am.

The Bureau of the Royal Household will allow tourists inside the Grand Palace on December 1st and 2nd. However, Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall will be off-limit to the public as royal praying ceremonies are underway to mark the 50th day since the passing of King Rama IX.