34.9 C
Sunday, March 26, 2023

Opinion | The Sovereigns of Thailand and the Skies

Last Thursday, a transgender protester wearing the traditional garb of a queen strutted down a red carpet in a street of central Bangkok. Another protester dressed like a court page — with sneakers — followed her, holding a red umbrella aloft in the style of a royal parasol. A crowd sat on the ground, prostrate, eyes cast down, as is required in the presence of royalty.

For centuries, the kings and queens of Thailand have walked under parasols that are color-coded astrologically. Every planet is associated with both a color and a day of the week, and Thai royals have parasols in the color that represents the day on which they were born.

This symbolism is just one of the means by which the monarchy presents its legitimacy as celestial, its mandate as divine. The state promotes various stories and narratives celebrating Thailand’s monarchs as demigods or Buddhas-to-be.

But now all…

Read more…

Related Articles

Latest Articles