The whole of Thailand will be celebrating the birthday of their beloved Queen Sirikit on 12 August. On the morning of the day itself, an alms-giving ceremony is held, followed by countrywide candle-lighting ceremonies and fireworks displays. But for the entire month of August, Thai households and public places will be decorated with fairy lights and portraits of the revered Queen Consort, whose date of birth has also been designated as Mother’s Day, given her standing as ‘Mother of all Thai people’.

There will also be stately goings-on in Kuala Lumpur on 31 August with the annual Merdeka Independence Day parade, replete with military presentations, a fly-past, technicoloured floats and members of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist society forming the flag of Malaysia in Merdeka Square. The King and Queen of Malaysia attend the ceremony, alongside the nation’s Prime Minister and other notable dignitaries.

If you are in London this summer, don’t miss your chance to peer through the keyhole at Buckingham Palace, by visiting its fabulous State Rooms. As well as paintings by Old Masters Rembrandt and Rubens, and Venetian superstar Canaletto, there’s sculpture by Canova, Sèvres porcelain and many other delights. This year also sees a special exhibition curated to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. As well as dresses, robes and uniforms worn during the ceremony, it will also showcase objets d’art used on the day.

Heading over to China, we introduce our guest blogger, Jessie Huang, who has written a postcard from her city, telling us of all the fabulous happenings in Guangzhou this August.

Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications

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