With just five days remaining until the start of the Twenties, I find myself inundated with non-philatelic pursuits.  I live in a country that is over 90 percent Buddhist with most of the remaining  population being Muslim or Hindu.  Christians make up an extremely small portion of the residents.  And yet, Christmas is extremely popular.  While the majority of schools throughout the Kingdom remain open on Christmas Day, most of these host parties where all students and teachers are decked-out in red felt shirts, skirts and/or hats and sing very bad renditions of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.  Of course, Santa Claus (and his sexy sidekick, Santy) must make an appearance to lead the throngs of children in games until the unrelenting tropical sun.

Continue reading “Exhausting Holidays”

Phuketia – MPLP #55 (2019)

With the corornation of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn (วชิราลงกรณ) — reigning title Phrabat Somdet Phra Vajira Klao Chao Yu Hua (พระบาทสมเด็จพระวชิรเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) or King Rama X — on May 4, 2019, the Kingdom of Thailand also gained a new queen, Her Majesty Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana ( สุทิดา พัชรสุธาพิมลลักษณ). She was born Suthida Tidjai (สุทิดา ติดใจ) on June 3, 1978, in Hat Yai, Songkla, Thailand.

A Thai of Chinese origin, she graduated from Hatyaiwittayalai Somboonkulkanya Middle School and Assumption University with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 2000. Suthida was formerly a flight attendant for Jalways Airlines — which is now part of Japan Airlines — from 2000 to 2003 and later Thai Airways in 2003 till 2008.

Suthida was appointed commander of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s household guard in August 2014. Suthida was linked romantically to the crown prince following his divorce from Srirasmi Suwadee. In October 2016, international media reports labeled her as the designated king’s “consort”, despite the palace never officially declaring their relationship. Her name is consistent with naming conventions for wives of Thai princes. On December 1, 2016, she was appointed Commander of the Special Operations Unit of the King’s Guard and promoted to the rank of general. She reached her present rank after only six years of service.

On June 1, 2017, Suthida was appointed as acting commander of Royal Thai Aide-de-camp Department following the reorganization of the Royal Security Command. On October 13, 2017, she was named a Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, which bestows the title Than Phu Ying (ท่านผู้หญิง). She is the first female officer to receive this honor since 2004 and the first in the reign of King Rama X. From that date until her marriage with the king, her full title and name was Than Phu Ying Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya (ท่านผู้หญิงสุทิดา วชิราลงกรณ์ ณ อยุธยา).

In this photo released by Bureau of the Royal Household ,Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, right, presents a gift to Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya at Ampornsan Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who will have his official coronation on Saturday, has appointed his consort as the country’s queen. An announcement Wednesday in the Royal Gazette said Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya is legally married to the 66-year-old king, and is now Queen Suthida. (Bureau of the Royal Household via AP)

On May 1, 2019, King Vajiralongkorn married Suthida who became the his queen consort, three days before the coronation took place in Bangkok on May 4-6. The marriage registration took place at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall in Bangkok, with her sister-in-law Princess Sirindhorn and President of Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda as witnesses. Between May 1 and 4, her she was known as Somdet Phra Rajini Suthida (สมเด็จพระราชินีสุทิดา). Upon her husband’s coronation, Queen Suthida became Somdet Phra Nang Chao Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana Phra Borommarajini (สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสุทิดา พัชรสุธาพิมลลักษณ พระบรมราชินี).

In Thai, Queen’s Suthida’s Birthday is วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสุทิดา พัชรสุธาพิมลลักษณ พระบรมราชินี or Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Suthida Phatcharasutha Phimon Lak Phra Borommarachini and was designated as a new national holiday late last month.  Government offices and schools are closed (although my language school remains open today) and I observed a few new royal portraits alongside the roadways in Phuket this morning along with purple and yellow bunting and several new royal portraits at major intersections. Her Royal Biography was released yesterday and the slideshow above contains the English version as well as several photos from the royal wedding and coronation.

Phuketia – MPLP #Ph51-54 (June 3, 2019)

Thailand Post has yet to release a stamp portraying our new queen.  I suspect that the first will be released one year from today to mark her 42nd birthday in 2020.  In the meantime, I created five designs for my own local post, that of Republica Phuketia. There are four vertically-oriented rectangular designs, each denominated 25 farang (a sub-unit of eth).  A 50-farang square stamp completes the set.  These are the first Republica Phuketia stamps to be released in 2019 and have the MPLP (Muang Phuket Local Post) catalogue numbers of Ph51-55.

Thailand – Coronation 2019 (May 4, 2019)

Late this afternoon, March 14, Thailand Post revealed the design for the single 10-baht stamp commemorating the Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (มหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร), the Tenth of the Chakri Dynasty. This followed the unveiling earlier this week (March 11) of the Royal Coronation Emblem which is portrayed on the stamp along with a portrait of the King wearing his Royal Thai Army uniform. An image of the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok can be seen in the background. The stamp design is meant to echo that of the set of eight stamps issued to mark the coronation of Rama X’s father, the late King Bhumiphol Adulaydej, on May 5, 1950 (Scott #275-282). His Majesty the King personally gave the final approval to the stamp design.

Three million copies of the stamps have been printed and are claimed to be the first in the world to utilize a special four-color glass foil printing technique. This has been used on the lettering for the country’s name, denomination, and Royal Coronation Emblem which produces an embossed effect. Preorder reservations for first day covers began today and will continue until March 29 at a price of 20 baht per cover at www.thailandpostmart.com. More information can be found on the Thailand Post website or by phoning THP Contact Center 1545.

Thai Channel 3 reporter Meow Petcharat posted following images to an an album on her Facebook page this afternoon. I presume the second one is of an actual sheet of printed stamps rather than a Thailand Post mockup:


The Royal Coronation will be held from May 4 to 6 with the actual coronation taking place on the first day. Monday the 6th is a holiday. According to an announcement by the Bureau of the Royal Household, issued on January 1, stated that Vajiralongkorn “had ascended the Throne as the King of Thailand, following the invitation of the President of the National Legislative Assembly, acting as the President of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Thai people” and that “His Majesty the King deems it appropriate that it is time for the Royal Coronation Ceremony to be conducted in accordance with royal traditions and for the joy of the people and the Kingdom on this auspicious occasion of the country.”

The lead-up to the Coronation will begin with a water-drawing rite conducted by the governors of each of Thailand’s 77 provinces on April 6. This water will be consecrated the following Monday and Tuesday and then transported to Wat Suthat Thepphawararam in Bangkok for further purification on April 18 and then taken by procession the following day to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A number of other pre-coronation rites follow and the three days from May 4 to 6 are full of additional ceremonies. A royal barge procession is expected during the Royal Krathin ceremonies later in the year (October or November, probably). A detailed explanation behind many of these, as well as a schedule, can be found in the article “The Crowing of A King” published by The Nation on March 2, 2019, That article mentions that the Ministry of Culture website includes free downloadable guides to the Coronation ceremonies but I have yet to find them.

Royal Coronation Emblem for HM King Maha Vachiralongkhorn

Thai people have been officially “encouraged” to display the Royal Coronation Emblem up until the actual ceremonies. Recommended places include coronation-related publications, decorative flags/arches and worship tables. I have already seen polo shirts for sale in Phuket bearing this new cipher. The following is a translated description from the Bureau of the Royal Household:

The Royal Emblem marked the upcoming Coronation of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) which will be held on 4-6 May 2019, contains the King’s monogram in the white trimmed with gold in the centre. The Royal Cypher is decorated with diamonds which denote the origin from which his name is derived, whilst the gold trimming of the cypher represents the colour of Monday when he was born, according to the Thai traditional colours of the day.

The cypher lies on a dark blue background which is the colour of righteous kingship, contained within a lotus bud frame marked out in gold and green. The mixture of which two colours signifies the power and might of the King’s day of birth. The lotus bud frame begets inspiration from the shape of its foremost predecessor – which enclosed the Great Unalome insignis of the Royal Seal of State which belonged to King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I the Great). Surrounding the outer parts of the frame are the Five Royal Regalia, deemed to embody the symbol of Kingship itself, which contains:

  • The Great Crown of Victory, represents the great burden bearing down on the King for the sake of his people’s happiness.
  • The Sword of Victory, symbolises the King’s responsibility to protect the Kingdom from all harms threatening.
  • The Royal Sceptre, signifies the King’s virtues to bring forth peace and stability to the Kingdom.
  • The Royal Whisk and Royal Fan, symbolise the King’s righteousness as a ruler in relieving the suffering and hardship of his duties.
  • The Royal Slippers, represent the King’s care in fostering the sustenance and welfare throughout the Kingdom.

The Great Crown of Victory with the Unalome insignia includes within the sequence of number of this reign. The sword and whisk lie on the right, while the scepter and fan on the left. And below the cypher rest the royal slippers.

Standing behind the Crown is the Great Umbrella of State trimmed with bands of gold. The nine-tiered umbrella has the lotus bud finial showing Brahma Faces on top, while the lowest tier is decorated with golden Champa bouquets representing the extension in all directions yonder of his writ and authority. On the lowest part stretches of green-gold ribbon, trimmed in gold, bearing the Thai language phrase which is translated as: “The Coronation, 2562 B.E. (2019 A.D.)”.

On the tip of the ribbon stands the purple Kojasi lion, holding up the seven-tiered umbrella representing the Armed Forces, while the white Ratchasi lion holds the same but represents the Civil Service. Altogether represent the two pillars of public service. Inside the shafts of both umbrellas have golden Naga snake traceries denoting the year of the dragon, which defines the King’s birthyear according to the traditional belief. The golden colour of Naga traceries signifies the prosperity of the nation and her people.

It’s nearly February, but I am finally able to put together a tentative schedule of Thailand Post’s planned 2019 stamps. Most of the images are sourced from promotional images as found on Facebook (the first two issues are scans from my collection) and the information comes almost entirely from a screenshot found on Facebook. All of this is subject to change as additional issues are announced, images are revealed, printings are delayed, etc.

January 1, 2019: Zodiac (Year of the Pig)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019)

1162. Zodiac Postage Stamp (Year of the Pig)
Date of Issue : 1 January 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 1,000,000 pieces
Size : 30 x 40.5 mm. (Vertical)
Printer : Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited,Thailand
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer : Mr.Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) sheet of 10
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) full sheet

1162. ตราไปรษณียากรชุดนักษัตรประจำปี (กุน)
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 1 มกราคม 2562
ความมุ่งหมาย : เพื่อเผยแพร่ปีนักษัตรของไทยให้แพร่หลาย
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท
จำนวนพิมพ์ : 1,000,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 40.5 มม. (แนวตั้ง)
ภาพ : ภาพนักษัตรปีกุน ภาพวาดฝีพระหัตถ์สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา ฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี
ผู้ประกอบแบบ : นายอุดร นิยมธรรม (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ : ไทยบริติชซีเคียวริตี้ พริ้นติ้ง จำกัด (มหาชน) ประเทศไทย
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 11.00 บาท

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover-front

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - Zodiac (Year of the Pig) - Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 1, 2019)
Thailand – Zodiac (Year of the Pig) – Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 1, 2019)

January 12, 2019: National Children’s Day

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 (January 12, 2019) - my scan
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 (January 12, 2019)

1163. National Children’s Day 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 12 January 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 700,000 pieces per design
Size : 31 x 31 mm.
Printer : Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited,Thailand
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer : Mr.Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)

1163. ตราไปรษณียากรที่ระลึกวันเด็กแห่งชาติ 2562
วันแรกจำหน่าย :12 มกราคม 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท(4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 700,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 31 x 31 มม.
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ : ไทยบริติชซีเคียวริตี้ พริ้นติ้ง จำกัด (มหาชน) ประเทศไทย
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท
ผู้ออกแบบ : นายอุดร นิยมธรรม (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover - my scan
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - National Children's Day - Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – National Children’s Day – Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 12, 2019)

February 7, 2019:  Symbol of Love

Thailand - Symbol of Love Postage Stamp (February 7, 2019)
Thailand – Symbol of Love Postage Stamp (February 7, 2019)

Symbol of Love Postage Stamp
Date of Issue : 7 February 2019
Denomination : 5.00 Baht
Quantity : 800,000 pieces
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 14.00 Baht
Designer : Miss Euamporn Supharoekchai (Thailand Post Company Limited)
ตราไปรษณียากรชุดสื่อแห่งความรัก
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 7 กุมภาพันธ์ 2562
ชนิดราคา : 5.00 บาท
จำนวนพิมพ์ : 800,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม.(แนวตั้ง)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ :
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่-หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 14.00 บาท
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.เอื้อมพร ศุภฤกษ์ชัย (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)


April 2, 2019:  Thai Heritage Conservation Day

Thailand - Thai Heritage Conservation Heritage Day (April 2, 2019)
Thailand – Thai Heritage Conservation Heritage Day (April 2, 2019)

Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 2 April 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 800,000 pieces per design
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical), 48 x 30 mm. (Horizontal)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :

ตราไปรษณียากรที่ระลึกวันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย 2562
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 2 เมษายน 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท (4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 500,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม.(แนวตั้ง) และ 48 x 30 มม.(แนวนอน)
ภาพ : จิตรกรรมฝาผนังในภาคใต้ อนุเคราะห์ภาพจาก รศ.ดร.สมพร ธุรี
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.เอื้อมพร ศุภฤกษ์ชัย (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ :
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท
แผ่นชีทที่ระลึก : 15 บาท


April 4, 2019:  Thai Traditional Festival

Stamp Image UnavailableThai Traditional Festival 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 4 April 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 400,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


May 10, 2019:  Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day)

Thailand - Vesak Day (May 10, 2019)
Thailand – Vesak Buja Day (May 10, 2019)

Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day)
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :

วันสำคัญทางพุทธศาสนา (วันวิสาขบูชา)
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 10 พฤษภาคม 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท (4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 500,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม. (แนวตั้ง)
ภาพ : พระธาตุประจำปีเกิด
ปีขาล – พระธาตุช่อแฮ จ.แพร่
ปีเถาะ – พระธาตุแช่แห้ง จ.น่าน
ปีมะโรง – พระธาตุเจดีย์วัดพระสิงห์ จ.เชียงใหม่
ปีมะเส็ง – พระธาตุเจดีย์เจ็ดยอด จ.เชียงใหม่
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.มยุรี นาคนิศร (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท

Stamp Image Unavailable

Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day) – Miniature Sheet of 4
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination :
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Sheet Composition : 1 miniature sheet of 4 stamps
First Day Cover :
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May 10, 2019:  80 Years of Foundation for the Blind in Thailand

Stamp Image Unavailable

80 Years of Foundation for the Blind in Thailand
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
Size :
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Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


June 1, 2019: 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kamphol Vacharaphol [UNDER CONSIDERATION]

Stamp Image Unavailable

100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kamphol Vacharaphol [UNDER CONSIDERATION]
Date of Issue : 1 June 2019
Denomination :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
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June 2019: Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship [UNDER CONSIDERATION]

Stamp Image Unavailable

Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship [UNDER CONSIDERATION]
Date of Issue : June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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June 14, 2019: 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and the Philippines

Stamp Image Unavailable

70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and the Philippines
Date of Issue : 14 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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June 16, 2019: 80th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and Luxembourg

Stamp Image Unavailable

80th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and Luxembourg
Date of Issue : 16 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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June 21, 2019: Thailand – Maldives Joint Issue

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Thailand – Maldives Joint Issue
Date of Issue : 21 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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July 28, 2019: King Rama X’s 67th Birthday Anniversary

Stamp Image Unavailable

King Rama X’s 67th Birthday Anniversary
Date of Issue : 28 July 2019
Denomination : 10.00 Baht
Quantity : 1,000,000 pieces
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
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August 8, 2019: ASEAN 2019

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ASEAN 2019 Commemorative Stamp
Date of Issue : 8 August 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
Size :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


August 12, 2019: 87th Birthday Anniversary of H.M. Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign

Stamp Image Unavailable

87th Birthday Anniversary of H.M. Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign Commemorative Stamp
Date of Issue : 12 August 2019
Denomination : 9.00 Baht
Quantity : 900,000 pieces
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
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September 11, 2019: Marine Life

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Marine Life
Date of Issue : 11 September 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


September 30, 2019: Lighthouses

Stamp Image Unavailable

Lighthouses
Date of Issue : 30 September 2019
Denomination : 4.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


October 9, 2019: World Post Day

Stamp Image Unavailable

World Post Day
Date of Issue : 9 October 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


November 15, 2019: New Year 2020 (Series 1)

Stamp Image Unavailable

New Year 2020 (Series 1)
Date of Issue : 15 November 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 300,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


November 15, 2019: New Year 2020 (Series 2)

Stamp Image Unavailable

New Year 2020 (Series 1)
Date of Issue : 15 November 2019
Denomination : 15.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 300,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


December 5, 2019: National Day

Stamp Image Unavailable

National Day
Date of Issue : 5 December 2019
Denomination : 5.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 14.00 Baht
Designer :


I will continue to update this post throughout the year as additional information and images are announced, as well as scanning the actual items as soon as I purchase them. I do try to keep up with the new issues of Thailand as they are relatively inexpensive and most become available at my local post office almost immediately upon release. However, there are occasionally limited-edition miniature sheets (usually of four stamps) that are available only in certain locations on the date of issue that I don’t tend to collect as they can be difficult to find and expensive when encountered on eBay, etc. Also, I do not collect the various personalized sheets that appear throughout the year (although I may be tempted if it is a theme related to my home province of Phuket).

Screenshot of a Thailand Post stamp schedule, posted on Facebook in mid-January 2019
Screenshot of a Thailand Post stamp schedule, posted on Facebook in mid-January 2019

This past Friday, Thailand Post announced — complete with design images — its first stamp for 2019 marking the Year of the Pig, due for release on January 1. This served as a reminder to me that it had been a while since I’d written about Thailand’s stamps released over the past few months. In fact, the last time I posted an article about Thai new issues was way back at the beginning of April!

Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I haven’t been able to buy any stamps at the post office since mid-May (shortly after the issuance of the Thai-Turkish joint issue and they’d already sold out of the first day cover by that time!). Thus, most of the images in this article were sourced from eBay, Thailand Post, Siam Stamp Catalog, and the Facebook page of the Thailand Stamp Museum. My next day off that also is not a post office holiday won’t be until late December so I may just have to wait until the annual yearbook is released in February to obtain all of the stamps I’ve missed this year!

I won’t provide much commentary on the stamps in this article other than date of issue and a few other details. I have included the Thailand Post issue numbers for reference; it usually takes a few years (!) before I can track down Scott or Michel catalogue numbers….

Continue reading “Thailand’s Stamp Issues, May 2018 to January 2019”

Today is the Thai holiday of Wan Khao Phansa (วันเข้าพรรษา) marking the beginning of Vassa, the three-month rains’ retreat also known as Buddhist Lent, following yesterday’s holiday of Wan Asanhabucha (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) commemorating the Buddha’s first discourse. This year, however, the twin Buddhist holidays coincide with another important holiday, that of Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร), which in English is simply the Birthday of King Rama X, incorporating his title and a small part of his full name. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) was born on July 28, 1952, and ascended to the Thai throne upon the death of his father, King Bhumiphol Adulyajej (Rama IX), on October 13, 2016. For more on King Rama X, please see my post on Asian Meanderings.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, King Rama X”

[url=https://flic.kr/p/24w2P7f][img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/40377611310_6292bdafb3_o.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/24w2P7f]ef54ba8a-b2c7-11e6-b17d-d6b2ebc6f34a_image_hires[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/am-jochim/]Mark Jochim[/url], on Flickr
U.S. President Barack Obama meeting with the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, on November 18, 2012.

Sometimes I wonder what Thailand Post is thinking of when the stamp selection committee meets to choose topics for future issues. Tue, most subjects on Thai stamps are quite worthy and beautifully executed; we aren’t bombarded with the tons of frivolous wallpaper that some postal administrations churn out with regularity. There have been relatively few poor designs in the years since I moved to southern Thailand and began to avidly collect the Kingdom’s issues, past and present.

However, I feel that there have been missed opportunities along the way and that Thailand Post has repeated itself far too often in recent years. There are certain issues that are guaranteed each year: (Western) New Year’s Day, Children’s Day, Chinese New Year (which they actually passed over in 2018!), a Thai traditional festivals set coinciding with Thai New Year, at least one of the Buddhist holidays (Vesak Bucha being this year’s honoree), Thai Heritage Conservation Day, the King’s Birthday, Mother’s Day, World Post Day, and the multi-stamp flowers issue for the following New Year (annually released in November, they take the place of the Christmas stamps released by Christian nations).

There are also various joint-issues mixed in throughout most years. I quite like these but it is in this area that Thailand Post tends to make mistakes. For example, last week a nice pair of stamps was released to mark the 60th anniversary of Thailand’s diplomatic relations with Turkey with a stamp each portraying the nations’ national sports. A beautiful set and a worthwhile commemoration until you realize that the 50th anniversary of Thai-Turkish diplomatic relations was marked by a joint-issue a mere ten years ago. Is the nation going to mark the 70th anniversary as well? It’s not as if we are being overrun with Turkish tourists (I’ve only met one Turk in the 14 years I’ve lived here).

Thailand -Thailand Post #TH-1147, released on May 12, 2018.
Thailand -Thailand Post #TH-1147, released on May 12, 2018.
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1068 First Day Cover, released May 8, 2015.
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1068 First Day Cover, released May 8, 2015.

Thailand does seem to like oddly-numbered anniversaries as well. While many nations such as the United States or Great Britain will deem 50th, 100th, and 200th anniversaries of events as stamp-worthy, Thailand Post has issued stamps in the past few years marking the diplomatic relations between the Kingdom and Russia (120 years), China (40 years), Sri Lanka (60 years), Israel (60 years), and even the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — that’s North Korea to you and me — (40 years). Of course, the granddaddy of all of these was the joint issue with Portugal which marked 500 years of friendship (which predates both the Chakri Dynasty and the Ayutthaya Kingdom).

Yet, Thailand has never philatelically honored the United States of America — it’s longest-held diplomatic trading partner if you measure the birth of the nation as the beginning of the ongoing Rattanakosin Kingdom (อาณาจักรรัตนโกสินทร์,) which was founded in 1782. Perhaps the bosses at Thailand Post have forgotten that nearly every paved road and airport in the vast northeast region known as Isaan was not only designed but also constructed by U.S. Army manpower. The two countries have fought shoulder-to-shoulder in every major conflict since World War II, and even redefined their partnership to meet modern global challenges like terrorism and transnational crime.

I was reminded the other day that 2018 is the 200th year of friendship between Thailand and the U.S. This reminded didn’t arrive via a U.S. Embassy Resident Alert or mention on the media, or, as I would hope, by the announcement of a pending stamp issue. No, I made a rare visit to the local McDonald’s (sometimes you just NEED a Big Mac) and, as I finished my fries and moved the carton in order to attack the burger the message loomed large as life on the tray-liner!

Come on, Thailand Post! If a fast-food establishment — albeit such a sheer symbol of Westerness throughout the world — feels it is worthwhile to remind its customers that Thailand and the United States has been friends for 200 years, why can’t we have a nice stamp to commemorate that fact? Even North Korea has regularly portrayed its relations with the U.S. on stamps, although they aren’t exactly promoting anything remotely friendly or diplomatic..

North Korean anti-U.S.A. stamps issued June 25, 2017.

The first recorded contact between Thailand (then known as Siam) and the United States came in 1818, when an American ship captain visited the country, bearing a letter from U.S. President James Monroe. Chang and Eng Bunker immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1830s. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent his envoy Edmund Roberts in the U.S. sloop-of-war Peacock, to the courts of Cochin-China, Siam and Muscat. Roberts concluded a Treaty of Amity and Commerce on March 20, 1833, with the Chao-Phraya Phra Klang representing King Phra Nang Klao; ratifications were exchanged April 14, 1836, and the Treaty was proclaimed on June 24, 1837. The Treaty of 1833 was the United States’ first treaty with a country in Asia, making Thailand truly America’s oldest friend in the region.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty, it was revealed that President Andrew Jackson had given the king (later known as Rama III) a gold sword with a design of an elephant and an eagle chased on a gold handle. The king had also been presented a proof set of United States coins, which included the “King of Siam” 1804 dollar struck in 1834. The set, minus a Jackson gold medal, was purchased for a record price of U.S. $8.5 million by Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers of Irvine, California on November 1, 2005. The set had been sold by Goldberg Coins & Collectibles of Beverly Hills, California, on behalf of an anonymous owner described as “a West Coast business executive,” who purchased it for over U.S. $4 million four years before.

Mural from a school in Koh Samui, Thailand, on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 2013.
Mural from a school in Koh Samui, Thailand, on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 2013.

Perhaps Thailand Post had ignored the United States considerable contribution to the Kingdom as an indicator of current U.S.-Thai relations.  Since the 2014 military coup, the United States has withheld military aid and high-level engagement, unwilling to resume them until a democratically-elected government is restored. That could be quite a bit in the future as elections have been postponed each year and were indefinitely put on hold by the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the ensuing year-long mourning period. As in the Philippines, China has been more than happy to fill this void with their own aid, steadily prying Thailand away from the U.S.-led alliance system.

While 2018 does mark the bicentennial of Thai-American contact, perhaps Thailand Post would like to mark the anniversary that the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed, formalizing diplomatic relations. Still, 2018 is the 185th anniversary of that event. Please don’t make us wait another 15 years for a stamp marking our long friendship.

In the absence of a stamp issue, at least those Americans who live here or are just passing through can feel proud that McDonald’s has remembered us. If only they would give us a free Big Mac if we show them our passport….

The U.S. Consulate produced a nice logo in 2013 on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of 1833. The slideshow below includes a few additional anniversary logos and Thailand Post stamps…

 

 

I’m quite surprised that the two main countries for which I collect new stamp issues — the country of my birth and my adopted home of the past thirteen years — have not released more stamps thus far in 2018. The United States issued just five in the entire month of April, four of those in a set at the beginning of the month and a single definitive towards the end of April. Thailand released eight stamps and one souvenir sheet in the same time frame which I discussed in my last Philatelic Pursuits article. For May, the USPS has but two stamps scheduled (one of which was issued almost weeks ago) while Thailand Post is set to release eight in three different sets.

United States - STEM Education - April 6, 2018
United States – STEM Education – April 6, 2018
United States - STEM Education - April 6, 2018
United States – STEM Education – April 6, 2018

On April 6, four Forever (50-cent) stamps were issued by the United States to promote the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education “in keeping the United States a global leader in innovation and providing new opportunities for all Americans to learn and explore the world.” David Plunkert of Baltimore, Maryland, was the designer and artist for the four stamps which each feature a collage of faces, symbols, drawings, and numbers that represent the complexity and interconnectedness of the STEM disciplines. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, Virginia, was the art director and typographer for the issue while Joseph Sheeran was the modeler.

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. printed 15,000,000 of the self-adhesive stamps in panes of 20 using the offset process at its plant in Williamsville, New York, on a Muller A76 press using the colors of black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. The stamps first went on sale in Washington, D.C.

In 2015 the Department of Education established the Committee on STEM Education and explained, “The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex…it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information…subjects collectively known as STEM.”

United States - Peace Rose - April 21, 2018
United States – Peace Rose – April 21, 2018
United States - Peace Rose - April 21, 2018
United States – Peace Rose – April 21, 2018

On April 21, 2018, in Shreveport, LA, the U.S. Postal Service issued a single Peace Rose Forever (50-cent) stamp in a self-adhesive double-sided booklet of 20 stamps. The stamp was dedicated at the Gardens of the American Rose Center. April 21 was also the closing date of one of the oldest festivals in the South, Holiday in Dixie, which was held April 13-April 21 in Shreveport. The stamp release served as the kick-off to the annual Spring Bloom Festival and preceded National Peace Rose Day on April 29.

Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Marylan, designed the Peace Rose stamp from an existing photograph taken by Richard C. Baer. Ashton Potter has printed 400,000,000 of these stamps using offset and microprinting in Williamsville, New York.

The new Peace Rose stamp celebrates one of the most popular roses of all time. The stamp art features a detail from a photograph of the Peace Rose blossom and its creamy yellow petals, with a touch of pink on the edges. The rose revolutionized hybrid tea roses with its unique coloring, hardiness, and disease resistance.

United States - U.S. Airmail Centennial (blue) - May 1, 2018
United States – U.S. Airmail Centennial (blue) – May 1, 2018
United States - U.S. Airmail Centennial (blue) - May 1, 2018
United States – U.S. Airmail Centennial (blue) – May 1, 2018

Cover flown on the first day of scheduled Air Mail Service in the U.S. and franked with the first U.S. Air Mail stamp, the 24 Cent "Jenny" (C-3). Cancel: "AIR MAIL SERVICE - WASH. N.Y. PHILA." "MAY 15, 1918 - FIRST TRIP" "PHILA." (Type: USPOD CDS w/killer bars) Sourrce: The Cooper Collection of U.S. Aero Postal History, via Wikipedia.
Cover flown on the first day of scheduled Air Mail Service in the U.S. and franked with the first U.S. Air Mail stamp, the 24 Cent “Jenny” (C-3). Cancel: “AIR MAIL SERVICE – WASH. N.Y. PHILA.” “MAY 15, 1918 – FIRST TRIP” “PHILA.” (Type: USPOD CDS w/killer bars) Sourrce: The Cooper Collection of U.S. Aero Postal History, via Wikipedia.

On May 1, the United States marked the centennial of the world’s first regularly scheduled airmail service by releasing a single Forever (50-cent) self-adhesive stamp picturing a Curtis JN-4H biplane printed in blue. The issue ceremony was held at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. An identical stamp, printed in red, will be released later in the summer to commemorate the beginning of airmail delivery through the U.S. Post Office Department, which began in August 1918.

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. printed 7,500,000 copies of the blue Airmail stamp using the intaglio process on a Stevens Vari-size Security Press in Williamsville, New York. Dan Gretta of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the designer and also did the typography while Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Virginia, was the art director on this project which “commemorates the pioneering spirit of the brave Army pilots who initiated the world’s first regularly scheduled airmail service.”

United States - Sally Ride - May 23, 2018
United States – Sally Ride – May 23, 2018
United States - Sally Ride - May 23, 2018
United States – Sally Ride – May 23, 2018

The USPS will pay tribute to America’s first woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride (1951-2012) with a single Forever (50-cent) self-adhesive stamp scheduled for release in La Jolla, California, on May 23, 2018. Ride was a member of the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger STS-7 in 1984. She inspired the nation as a pioneering astronaut, brilliant physicist, and dedicated educator, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951 in Encino, California, and died July 23, 2012 in La Jolla.

The stamp art, sketched first in charcoal and then rendered in oil paint, features a colorful portrait of Ride in her light blue space suit with a dramatic depiction of a space shuttle lifting off in the background. Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, designed the stamp with artwork by Paul Salmon of Burke, Virginia. Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. is offset printing 20,000,000 Sally Ride stamps on the Muller A76 press at Williamsville, New York.

For the past couple of years, Thailand Post has been very slow to publicize information on its upcoming stamp releases. Currently, there is nothing on the schedule beyond May 31 other than the delayed Rama X definitive set at the end of July. Due to my work schedule, I haven’t even made it to the post office since last November.

Thailand - 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Turkey - May 12, 2018 [TH-1146]
Thailand – 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Turkey – May 12, 2018 [TH-1146]
Thailand - 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Turkey - May 12, 2018 [TH-1146]
Thailand – 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Turkey – May 12, 2018 [TH-1146]

There are two 3-baht stamps under the title of “60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Thailand and Turkey Commemorative Stamps” scheduled for release tomorrow, May 12. A press release (in Thai) along with images of single stamps and a full sheet were finally released earlier this week.. It has a Thailand Post issue number of TH-1146 assigned. One of the stamps depicts Thailand’s national sport of muay thai (มวยไทย) while the other portrays oil wrestling (Yağlı güreş in Turkish), also called grease wrestling, which is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil.

Thailand - Vesak Bucha Day - May 29, 2018 [TH-1147]
Thailand – Vesak Bucha Day – May 29, 2018 [TH-1147]

 There are rather blurry images of the four-stamp TH-1147 “Visak Day 2018 Commemorative Stamps” issue now rescheduled from May 14 to the actual 2018 date of the holiday, May 29. Vesaka Bucha (วิสาขบูชา) is a major festival in Thailand and elsewhere throughout Asia as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment (Buddhahood), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition. The designs portray the stupas (เจดีย์ — chedi in Thai) from various Thai temples called wat (วัด). I tried to identify the chedi on these new stamps, using the released image but failed. They don’t seem to be any of the “usual subjects”.

Finally, on May 31, there is a 2-stamp joint issue planned with Romania planned but no further details have been announced. Romania and Thailand established diplomatic relations with the establishment of an embassy in Bangkok on June 1, 1973. There is also an honorary Romanian consulate in Pattaya and the Thais have an embassy in Bucharest. Additionally, December 1, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the union of Transylvania with Romania celebrated with Romania’s national holiday of Great Union Day.. The holiday was established after the Romanian Revolution, and marks the unification not only of Transylvania, but also of the provinces of Banat, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom. These other provinces had all joined with the Kingdom of Romania earlier in 1918.

Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.

After nearly two months without any new stamps, Thailand Post is set to release two sets within the next four days for a total of eight stamps and one souvenir sheet.

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 2, 2018 Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 souvenir sheet, release date April 2, 2018Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 First Day Cover, release date April 2, 2018

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 pictorial postmarks, release date April 2, 2018
Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 commemorative stamp set with souvenir sheet, release date April 2, 2018

Due tomorrow, April 2, 2018, is the annual set marking Thai Heritage Conservation Day (วันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย — Wan Anurak Moradok Thai). Marking the birthday of the popular Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (มหาจักรีสิรินธร), a stamp collector and designer herself, the special day has been observed since 1995. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information about the murals portrayed on this year’s stamp set. Four 3-baht stamps plus a souvenir sheet which will be sold for 15 baht are scheduled to be issued under the Thailand Post catalogue number of TH-1144.

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 4, 2018 Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 First Day Cover, release date April 4, 2018

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 pictorial postmarks, release date April 4, 2018
Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 4, 2018

On April 4, the annual set of four Thai Traditional Festivals set will be released under the Thailand Post number TH-1145. This year’s subject is the spectacular Sky Rocket Festival (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ — Prapheni Bun Bang Fai), a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people throughout much of the Isan region of northeastern Thailand and Laos near the beginning of the wet season. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets.

Rocket Festival, Yasothon ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ จังหวัดยโสธร
Rocket launch at Yasothon, Thailand ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ จังหวัดยโสธร
Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.
Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.

Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia. The most famous celebrations are those held in Yasothon’s provincial capital staged annually over the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that falls in the middle of May. In 2018, I believe this is May 18-20 but haven’t been able to confirm those dates yet. It appears that the photographs used for Thailand’s new stamps were taken at Yasathon. The festival is one I’ve long wanted to attend and will make an extra effort this year (it can be difficult to take more than two days off from work). At the very least, I will put together an article about the Skyrocket Festival for my A Stamp A Day blog next month.

In the meantime, here’s some video from the 2016 Rocket Festival at Kut Wa in Kalasin Province, Thailand:

The next stamps on the Thailand Post calendar is a 2-stamp set marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic releations between Thailand and Turkey (TH-1146), scheduled for release on May 12. There is also a four-stamp set (TH-1147) scheduled for May 14 to mark Vesak Buja Day (วันวิสาขบูชา — Wan Wisakhabucha). This is a Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, traditionally at the full moon of the sixth Thai lunar month (May). In Thailand, it is also observed as National Tree Day.

April 6 in Thailand is observed as Chakri Memorial Day (วันจักรี — Wan Chakkri), which commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Phutthayotfa Chulalok in 1782. Officially known as King Phutthayotfa Chulalok the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day (วันพระบาทสมเด็จพระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราชและวันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์), this year the date will see the release of the first new banknotes and coins bearing the likeness of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (มหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร). In the West, he is called simply King Rama X. Banknotes in the denominations of 20, 50 and 100 baht will be released on April 6 as well as coins denominated 10, 5, 2, and 1 baht plus 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1 satang (all of the satang coinage is basically useless, retailers usually will round up or give customers 25- or 50-satang coins in change but refuse to accept them as payment; the lowest values are so that banks can balance their account books and probably won’t reach circulation).

Thailand King Rama X Definitive Stamps (Series I), scheduled for release July 28, 2018.
Pre-Order announcement for Thailand King Rama X Definitive Stamps (Series I), scheduled for release July 28, 2018.

The first Rama X definitive stamps were originally scheduled to have been released on April 6 as well but are now delayed until July 28. That date is known in English as King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday but in Thai it is วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร — Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun. Have I mentioned that I have given up trying to learn the language due to mouthfuls such as this? There will be twelve stamps released that date bearing Rama X’s portrait in denominations of 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 50, and 100 baht. The total face value is 220 baht, plus it appears that there will also be a souvenir sheet containing all 12 stamps to be sold for 250 baht. The stamps are now available for pre-order, as evidenced by the pictured advertisement I found on Facebook.

Although King Maha Vajiralongkorn accepted the throne on the night of December 1, 2016, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated on October 26, 2017, a coronation for the new king has yet to be held.

 

The Kingdom of Thailand is preparing for its final farewell to the most beloved monarch this nation has ever known. Even in Phuket, an island some 12 hours south of the capitol city of Bangkok by bus, one sees preparations for the massive funeral which will occur from October 25-29. Television, social media, and websites are almost exclusively black and white as of the beginning of this month and numerous commemorative items are beginning to fill local shops.

A new series of banknotes began circulating just under two weeks ago (I just received my first of the new 100-baht notes) and four commemorative coins are set for release in the near future; I may attempt to obtain the 100-baht coin but the gold 50,000-baht will have to remain a dream.

Three million copies of the new stamps are being released on October 25; I didn’t find out about the pre-sale (August 28-September 11) until a couple of days ago so hopefully I can find them on eBay or elsewhere (Thailand Post is certainly making it difficult to purchase their stamps lately). The stamps are really beautiful, but I can say that about virtually every stamp the Kingdom issues.

Three sheets will be released under the Thailand Post issue number TH-1135 and the official name “Royal Cremation Ceremony of the Late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Commemorative Stamps”. The first sheet will include nine 9-baht stamps bearing various portraits of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama the Ninth. The second sheet features three 3-baht stamps portraying major components of the Royal Cremation Ceremony — the Royal Urn, Phra Yannamat Sam Lam Khan (the Golden Palanquin with Three Poles), and Phra Maha Phicha Ratcharot (the Great Victory Royal Chariot). The third sheet contains a single 9-baht illustrating the Royal Crematorium and the candlelit mass mourning ceremony held at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang ceremonial ground on October 22, 2016. The background of this sheet features Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, where the body of His Majesty King Bhumibol is lying in state.

These stamps, as so many other details about the Royal Cremation, have received extensive media coverage so I expect them to be rather difficult to obtain. Several Thai-based stamp dealers are already offering attractive presentation folders for the set. Older stamps portraying King Bhumibol have already seen high selling prices offered on eBay and other online auction sites.

While I have had to forgo a previously-planned trip to Bangkok in order to view the funeral processions due to work commitments, the 26th will be a public holiday so that the entire country can mourn on the day of the actual cremation. Each of Thailand’s 77 provinces has erected replicas of the massive funeral pyre (as well as nine replicas in Bangkok plus the original) so that people who cannot travel to the capital can participate locally. I plan to attend Phuket’s ceremony. I assume that there will be big-screen televisions near the local replica, broadcasting the procession in Bangkok.