SURAT THANI — One of the world’s most famous beach parties returned to Koh Phangan on Tuesday night.
For the first time in recent memory, Haad Rin’s monthly Full Moon Party was canceled in October following the death of His Majesty the Late King, which prompted the government to declare a year of national mourning and month-long ban on public entertainment.
The ban was lifted Monday, and the party known for hedonistic binge-drinking and drug use was given a greenlight for Tuesday, one day after the full moon and Loy Krathong festival. Along with the event’s return came an homage to King Bhumibol, who was widely revered in Thailand as the “father of the nation.”
Before the party kicked off, hundreds of officials led by Surat Thani Gov. Uaichai Innak gathered to pray for His Majesty the Late King on the beach where the party unfolds each month. Five foreigners read eulogies in memory of the monarch, who’s also known as King Rama IX.
Meanwhile candles were laid in the shape of the No. 9 in Thai, a reference to King Rama IX.
The party’s iconic burning sign heralding “Full Moon Party Haad Rin Koh Phangan” was also changed to read “For Our King” inside a heart shape.
The ceremony ended with singing of the Royal Anthem, and revelers were then allowed onto the beach for the party. Officials estimated the crowd to be about 30,000.