Over 1,000 turtles released to celebrate Thai King's birthday

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-27 17:43:07|Editor: Mengjie
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BANGKOK, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Thais gathered in eastern Thailand on Wednesday to send free 1,066 turtles as part of the national celebrations for the birthday of Thai King.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun turns to 65 on Friday. This is the first time that his July 28 birthday is celebrated as a national holiday.

At the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Sattahip district, Chun Buri province, east of Thailand, hundreds of people released 1,066 mostly green and hawksbill turtles into the sea.

The number 1,066 was chosen intentionally. Ten is for King Rama X and 66, one more than the King's age, is to wish him longevity, according to local media.

A day before the release, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called all Thai people to do good deeds in a bid to show loyalty to the new monarch.

Buddhists believe that sending free animals is a good deed that can bring good karma. As a result, turtles and birds were released to mark King Vajiralongkorn's first national birthday.

Besides these good deeds, the Bangkok city hall will hold a mass alms-giving event for more than 600 monks at the central square. Temples across the country will also hold celebrating ceremonies for the King.

King Vajiralongkorn inherited the throne in December after King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Oct. 13, 2016.