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Sandalwood fragrance is believed to lead the souls of the deceased to heaven. To allow people a chance to personally pay homage to the late king for the last time, the military government made Thursday a public holiday and the Labour Ministry encouraged employers to let people take the day off. Many businesses, including all 7-Eleven stores, have announced they will close for part or all of the day. Read: What’s Closed in Bangkok During the Royal Funeral (Updated) Those not going to the Sanam Luang can visit one of 85 crematorium replicas nationwide – eight in Bangkok – to make funerary offerings of sandalwood flowers. The flowers will be burned with fire that was lit seven days earlier by King Rama X and distributed throughout the realm. Sandalwood is burned because its fragrant aroma is believed to help lead souls of the deceased to heaven. Those who want to go must wear formal black clothes and shoes. Ceremonies will be held at Thai diplomatic missions and temples worldwide. In some countries, special venues were booked for people to offer sandalwood flowers such as the Kursalon Hubner music hall in Vienna, Austria; the Namba Midosuji Hall in Osaka, Japan; and Mumbai’s Coomaraswamy Hall in India.
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