Top: Students and volunteers plant a field of more than 100,000 marigold plants at King’s College Monday in Nakhon Pathom in preparation for Rama IX’s funeral Oct. 26.
Fields of marigolds in homage to the late King Rama IX have blossomed just in time for his cremation this month.
Timed to produce fields in full bloom, the fields were planted in mid-August, as the plants take about 60 days to blossom. Today flowers in King Bhumibol’s color are blooming all over the country in time for the cremation rites to be carried out Oct. 25 to Oct. 29.
“The reason we’re encouraging the public and private sectors as well as all citizens to grow marigolds is because marigolds are yellow, like King Bhumibol’s royal birth color,” said Krissada Boonrat, secretary of the interior.
Marigolds are often used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies for their auspicious and ornamental associations to adorn garlands, form krathong and be offered to spirit houses. The flowers typically bloom for three weeks.
The marigold fields are another way to manifest the mourning nationally outside of the capital along with replica crematoriums which have cropped up in many provinces.