Visitors to Thailand may witness the pomp and pageantry on Thursday, 24 October 2019, of the historic Royal Barge Procession to mark the Coronation Ceremony held on Saturday, 4 May, earlier this year.

Preparations are in place for the Royal Barge Procession. Photo: PR Thai Government’s Facebook Page

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (Rama X) and Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana will travel through Bangkok in the Royal Barge procession, departing in the Royal Barge Suphannahong (Golden Swan) at the Wasukri Pier, along the Chao Phraya River, from 3.30 pm (or 15.30 hours local time).

The Royal Barge procession consists of 52 ceremonial barges, including four royal barges: Suphannahong (Golden Swan) the Anantanakkharat (or multi-headed Naga), the Anekkachatphutchong, or innumerable Naga figures, and the Narai Song Suban King Rama IX.

About 2,3000 oarsmen ready to row the barges, arranged into five groups, accompanied by rhythmic barge-rowing songs which are part of the ceremonial water-borne procession.

The trip will take about 45 minutes and travel for about 3.4 kilometres.

The Royal Thai Government has extended an invitation to the general public to view this historic event from both sides of the river, as well as congratulating and paying homage to the King and the Queen.

Six official locations along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. Source: PR Thai Government’s Facebook Page

Various sites have been chosen, including the six official locations which can accommodate up to 10,700 people.

  • Santichai Prakan Park (1,500 people)
  • Thammasart University (1,800 people)
  • Nagaraphirom Park (2,300 people)
  • Siriraj Hospital (100 people)
  • King Bhumibol’s 72nd Birthday Anniversary Park (1,000 people)
  • Under the Rama VIII Bridge, Thon Buri (4,000 people)

Participants may wear yellow shirts.

Six temples on both sides of the river, Wat Rachathiwat Ratchaworawihan, Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawiharn, Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Bowon Mongkhon, Wat Karuhabodee, and Wat Rakhang Kositaram, will hold Buddhist chanting ceremonies when the Royal Barge approaches each temple’s waterfront and end when the procession has passed by.

The King and the Queen will disembark at the Ratchaworadit Pier.

The other end of the Royal Barges. Photo: PR Thai Government

The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej revived this ancient procession in 1960, following a lapse of several decades, and takes place at the end of the Buddhist Lent.

Robes were presented to Buddhist monks in the past as part of the event.

However, no presentation of kathin robes will occur during the Royal Kathin Ceremony at Wat Arun this year.

The royal processions, both on land and by water, exhibit the monarch’s glory and great power, in accordance with traditional beliefs and court traditions which have been handed down for generations.

The Royal Barge Procession marks the conclusion of the Coronation Ceremony, which is considered one of the most important events for Thai kings.

Full dress rehearsals will take place on Thursday, 17 October, and Monday, 21 October 2019.


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