On December 5th, Thailand observed its national Father’s Day, a significant holiday dedicated to expressing gratitude and honouring fathers and paternal figures for their invaluable contributions to the lives of Thai people. It is also a day in remembrance of His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The muaythai community, IFMA, along with its Thai national federation, AMTAT under Royal Patronage, and PAT join together yearly to commemorate this special day. This year’s festivities unfolded at the Icon Siam River Park with a large festival under the name of “Muaythai the Soft Power Festival 2023.” The afternoon commenced with a mesmerizing performance titled “Muaythai Soft Power,” which showcased the unique history of Muay Thai, spanning from ancient Siam to modern-day Thailand. Thai muaythai superstars BuaKaw, Super Bon, and Somratsamee led the parade with the Royal Guard marching in the Royal trophies—the King’s and Queen’s Cup—before placing them on mantles in front of the Majesties’ photos.

Bua Kaw and Super Bon, for the first time, performed the traditional ram muay together to pay homage to His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and honour His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana.

Dr. Wanida Pansaard, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, presided over the ceremony, paying respect to their Majesties. She continued by thanking all participating organizations and all the athletes on this occasion. IFMA and AMTAT President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan made an emotional speech on muaythai’s journey from the past to the present until becoming Thailand’s soft power and IFMA’s achievements with 152 national federations recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

All organizations stood together in unity for the candle ceremony in remembrance of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and in honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana. The Ministry of Tourism and Sport, PAT President, and IFMA Vice President, Mr. Somchart Charoenwatachawit, IFMA President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan, representatives of the Sports Authority of Thailand, the National Sports Development Fund, the Department of Physical Education, Icon Siam, the Thai National Identity Foundation, and all the athletes who were there to compete all joined in lighting candles in accompaniment to a special song written in honour of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The candle ceremony was followed by a special fireworks display over the skyline of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, and the stage was set for the King’s and Queen’s Cup 2023.