Thailand colors return after year of mourning King Bhumibol | News | DW | 30.10.2017
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Thailand colors return after year of mourning King Bhumibol

Colorful clothes made a comeback on Thailand's streets after the official end of the year of mourning for late King Bhumibol. Thais wore black from head-to-toe out of respect for their revered monarch.

Many Thais put on their brightly-colored clothes on Monday as Thailand officially ended the year of mourning for its late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, following an elaborate and expensive five-day funeral.

They had donned just black in the past year to mourn the death of their beloved king.

Hundreds of thousands of black-clad mourners descended on Bangkok last week to pay their last respects to King Bhumibol, who died at the age of 88 in October last year.

The official end of the mourning period was marked on Monday by the taking down of black-and-white funeral bunting that had hung on the gates of Bangkok's Government House for a year.

Mourners in Bangkok

A sea of black-clad mourners descended on Bangkok for the funeral of King Bhumibol

"This doesn't mean my love for His Majesty stopped," said Nithakan Rujiratkasemkij, a 40-year-old business owner in Bangkok, wearing a light pink dress.

"His Majesty taught us that we need to move on in life, but with consciousness," Nithakan said.

Some stay muted

29-year-old May Kanokwattana, an office worker, wore bright yellow as she waited at a major Bangkok transport interchange.

"I wore black for one year. I needed to show my sorrow. Today is the first day I am wearing a different color," May said, who also donned a pin with the Thai number nine out of respect for King Bhumibol, who was the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty.

Pattinya Mankongwongcharoen, a 49-year-old accountant, wore a peach-coloured dress.

"I won't continue wearing black because the mourning period is officially over and to do so would be disrespectful."

Others said they would continue to wear muted colors.

"I'm still grieving. I'll wear black or grey for a few more weeks," said shop owner Pimsuda Chatree.

Watch video 02:00

Black shirts sell briskly after Thai king's death

Black-colored clothes were in high demand after King Bhumibol's death last year, causing shortages in many stores. Those who could not afford new clothes chose to dye their old clothes black.

Colors have a profound meaning for Thais who assign a color to each day of the week based on astrology.

King Bhumibol was born on a Monday, a day associated with the color yellow. His heir and only son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, was also born on a Monday.

ap/rc (Reuters, dpa)

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