Chakri Memorial Day
Prior to the establishment of Chakri Dynasty (the current royal lineage), the Kingdom
of Siam (former name of Thailand) was in turmoil. Aggressive Burmese troops
occupied the Northern Kingdom of Lan Na and were proceeding down south to the
Siamese Royal Capital of Ayutthaya. A young man of noble Ayutthaya descent named
Thong Duang (born in 1737) commanded the bitter fights in the Northern war. Despite
the efforts to fight back, they were gradually forced to fall back until the Burmese had
gotten a grip on the Royal Capital. Ayutthaya fell on April 8th, 1767 and the Siamese
people fled to the city of Thonburi located further downriver on the mighty
Chaophraya River. The beautiful city of Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese,
temples plundered, gold and jewelry looted, monks and women were cruelly effected.
But the Burmese had suffered heavily in the taking of Ayutthaya and knew the
Siamese would return to take up battle. Knowing they could not hold Ayutthaya, the
Burmese retreated after only one week. War campaigns continued over the years,
ebbing and flowing, until the Siamese armies united during 1779 in Thonburi. Thong
Duang now known as Chakri became the military commander. He realized that the
Royal Court of King Taaksin was in such disharmony because the King, weary of
wars, had resorted to religion rather than addressed the needs of his subjects. The lack
of leadership caused rebellions to break out. Rebels marched on Thonburi, calling for
the overthrow and replacement of King Taaksin with their beloved "Chakri." As a
result Chaophraya Chakri took the title "King Ramathibodi" and reigned as King Rama
I from April 6 1782 until 1809.
As an experienced military campaigner, King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty knew that
the city of Thonburi was vulnerable to possible Burmese attack from the west.
Accordingly, he commanded that a new Capital be established across Chaophraya
River. And so Krung - Thep (Bangkok) was created.
Chakri Day commemorates the founding of t