A Day Fit For A King
Chulalongkorn Day is celebrated on October 23rd to commemorate the passing of Thailand’s fifth monarch of the current Chakri Dynasty. You may have noticed framed pictures of this great man in households, offices or even in 100 Baht banknotes and may wonder to yourself who this man is and why is there a holiday his name?
To sum up one of his achievements in short, he abolished slavery.
It was common practice at the time for poor individuals to sell their service into slavery. They may however work off their debt and be freed later in life. Unfortunately, their children’s freedom was harder to pay off because their price tag would be much higher.
King Chulalongkorn witnessed the bloodshed the U.S. went through for the abolition of slavery and vowed not to have a repeat in his country. So in 1874, the King lowered the buying out price of first generation slaves born in 1867 and had them all freed by the age of 21.
His other achievements included keeping the country sovereign during the colonial era, introduced democracy to Siam and modernized the country.
King Chulalongkorn is a very important man in Thai history. A lot of how the country is shaped today can be rooted from his achievements. If you want to learn more about this great man, embark on a half day trip to the Museum Siam or contact Exotissimo for a tailored museum tour.
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