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

Bangkok, July 27 (IANS) A total of 1,066 turtles were set free during celebrations here to mark the Thai King’s 65th birthday, officials said on Thursday.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will turn 65 on Friday. This is the first time that his birthday is being celebrated as a national holiday, reports Xinhua news agency.

At the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Chun Buri province, the turtles were released 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 setting animals free is a good deed that can bring good karma.

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 ceremonies for the King.

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

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