Weekly Photo Outing

The best laid plans..  For months now I’d been looking forward to covering the royal cremation ceremonies including the performing orchestras and choirs.  I’d managed to secure passes, arrange for an assistant, and was really looking forward to this special event.  Unfortunately two nights before I was out on the klong covering the Loy Krathong festivities and on the way back I stepped in a pothole and threw my back out.  The night of the cremation ceremonies I was still in some serious pain and couldn’t walk very well at all and considering the distances and crowds decided to bow out gracefully.  I was very disappointed.  Somehow my disappointment was relayed to the choir I’ve covered several times before and the choir members pooled the images from their compact cameras, wrote some narrative, and emailed me these images and narrative.  Thank you!  It really means a lot to me they went to this trouble, and I hope the readers can enjoy this special contribution as much as I have.  Thank you guys!

We had a great and rare opportunity to be part of a huge royal event, the royal cremation of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana, our King’s sister. She passed away in January from cancer and they were cremating her past Saturday. We were thrilled to be part of this historical event. We were singing on one of three stages that had music and dance performed all night long.

We were amazed at the sight of Rajadamnoen Avenue (meaning The King’s Walkway ) when we were going into Sanam Luang where the cremation was to take place. The Avenue looked deserted. It was closed down along with fifteen other streets in around the venue.

Rajadamnoen

The Democracy Monument  without demonstrations looked very beautiful.

Democracy Moniment

People were walking in in a very orderly fashion.  They got dropped off by public transportation and walked for kilometers into the area.

Crowd

Hundreds of thousand people were there in the heat. The brief heavy rain at 2:30am the next day didn’t even bother them.

Crowd in the blazing sun

They put her upright golden casket on top of this car and transported her from the palace to Sanam Luang. It was a solemn funeral parade. We got there after the parade was over but got to see it on TV a little.

Casket carriage

We got there at 1:30pm but scheduled to sing at 8:30pm so here was something we did to pass time..

Performers Performers

Finally got ready to go standby behind the makeshift stage.

Performers

The ceremony was way behind the schedule and we ended up waiting for SIX hours behind the stage. We got on the stage at 2:30am and we were done singing at 3am. It was a fun time waiting in the back.

PerformersPerformers

A fun shot of my conductor behind the stage.

Conductor

Me and my conductor

Conductor and performer

View of the ceremony from our stage taken by my tiny Canon Ixus camera

outing13

It was a great experience for us, Thai Youth Choir. We had a lot of fun working and performing, and being part of such an event is so memorable!