A future pilot plays with a model plane at the air force’s Wing 6 at Don Mueang airport on Children’s Day on Saturday. (Photos by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Children thronged the air force’s Wing 6 at Don Mueang Airport to catch a glimpse of airshows on Saturday as activities to celebrate Children’s Day were in full swing across the country.
The atmosphere at the airport was lively as children flocked to view Gripen fighters flying over the Bangkok skies.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the official opening ceremony for the special day at the Education Ministry on Saturday morning, with a speech to more than 300 young people.
An exhibition was held at the ministry with children taking part in various activities.
At Parliament, many children, led by parents, enjoyed activities staged just for them. The conference hall and the museum inside were opened for children to view. A variety of games and shows were organised, with free and drinks for all participants.
Outside the capital, many public agencies staged special events with businesses contributing gifts, refreshments and rewards. Many featured readings of the prime minister’s statement, as well as shows, games, exhibitions and concerts.
In Si Sa Ket, children braved 11C temperatures to play games and compete for prizes at Khao Phra Wihan National Park in Kantharalak district.
The Thai-Cambodian border patrol base was also opened to 1,000 children and parents where gifts and snacks were handed out.
In Sa Kaeo, companies in the Sa Kaeo special economic zone gave scholarships and food to children. A concert of hit songs was performed by children.
Chitiphan Kanchan, a municipal chief, said he had asked officials to wear student uniforms for the day. “Several children have only one uniform that they wear throughout the year until the back is worn out. I used to be one of them so I wear a uniform on Children’s Day every year as a reminder of the past,” he said.
In Phatthalung, the governor opened his office to children while activities were held on the grounds of his residence. Anong them were stage plays by children, exhibitions and game shows. The municipality also provided buses to take children and their parents on a city tour, with students acting as guides. Members of the Phatthalung big bike club took youngsters on rides on their motorcycles to instil in them a respect of traffic laws and road safety awareness.
In Narathiwat, celebrations were held amid the rain, with 24 government agencies and companies joining hands to keep children happy.
In Muang district, concerts and shows were performed by students. Gifts and rewards were handed out to some 1,000 participants.
In Yala, activities were held amid tight security by 50 state agencies and businesses. Among them were shows, games, quizzes, draws and sports contests. Exhibitions and healthcare services were also provided free of charge.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, Army Region 2 in Muang district displayed military hardware as well as BB guns.
In Chai Nat, apart from typical activities, the focus was on a bomb-disposal drill organised by provincial police, where children compete to pass on a balloon, assumed to be a bomb, to their teammates using their knees.
At Buri Ram hospital, where the temperature was 17C, toys and sweets were handed out to sick children who could not enjoy the day out.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, events were held in every district with arms displays by Army Region 4, Gripen airshows and stage shows.
In Phuket, the Third Army moored the HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Hua Hin and displayed other weapons at the deep-sea port for children to view.
Vice Admiral Surapol Kuptaphan, commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, said naval officers were on hand to help to instil a sense of discipline and responsibility in children.
At Khon Kaen airport, Acting Sub Lt Attaya Lapmak, the airport chief, led children onto a bridge for a perspective view of the airport and tours of commercial planes.
Pilots and staff from airlines including Thai AirAsia, Thai Smile, Nok Air and Lion Air took turns joining the activities and handing out school supplies, toys and dolls.
The airport also demonstrated regular and rescue operations and simulated boarding for children.
Prime Minister Pryut Chan-o-cha helps a potential future leader try the top seat at Government House on Saturday.