The Royal Barge Procession Last Event of King Rama X Coronation

Thailand, royal barge procession, Thai monarchy, Bangkok, Chao Praya River

The last event linked to the recent coronation of King Rama X will be a royal barge procession along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. The procession will be organised on October 24 and will be a glamorous spectacular event.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) confirmed last week the Royal Barge procession programme scheduled for 24 October, 2019, based on information provided by the Foreign Office, Government Public Relations Department.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, accompanied by Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, will travel through the city in a royal procession by water along the Chao Phraya River, on the occasion of the Royal Coronation Ceremony this year.

The Royal Barge Procession is scheduled for Thursday, 24 October, 2019, at 15.30 Hrs. Their Majesties the King and Queen will embark on the Royal Barge Suphannahong at the Wasukri Pier and will disembark at the Ratchaworadit Pier.

The trip will take about 45 minutes, with a length of about 3.4 kilometres. The procession consists of 52 ceremonial barges, including four royal barges; the Suphannahong, or Golden Swan, the Anantanakkharat, or multi-headed Naga, the Anekkachatphutchong, or innumerable Naga figures, and the Narai Song Suban King Rama IX.

About 2,300 oarsmen have been prepared to row the barges that are arranged into five groupings. Rhythmic barge-rowing songs are part of this ceremonial water-borne procession, which is a rare spectacle, arranged on special occasions only.

The Royal Thai Government has extended an invitation to the general public from both sides of the Chao Phraya River to witness Thailand’s historic event and congratulate as well as pay respect to Their Majesties on this auspicious occasion. Various sites along the two banks of the Chao Phraya River have been arranged for the public audience with Their Majesties, including the following six official locations which can accommodate up to 10,700 people:

  1. Santichai Prakan Park (for 1,500 people)
  2. Thammasart University (for 1,800 people)
  3. Nagaraphirom Park (for 2,300 people)
  4. Siriraj Hospital (for 100 people)
  5. King Bhumibol’s 72nd Birthday Anniversary Park (for 1,000 people)
  6. Under the Rama VIII Bridge, Thon Buri (for 4,000 people)
  7. The people participating in this event may wear yellow shirts.

Six temples on both sides of the Chao Phraya River will hold a Buddhist chanting ceremony in honour of Their Majesties. Wat Rachathiwat Ratchaworawihan, Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawiharn, Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Bowon Mongkhon, Wat Karuhabodee, and Wat Rakhang Kositaram will each begin the chanting ceremony when the Royal Barge is approaching the waterfront of the temple and conclude when the procession has passed the temple.

The ancient procession was revived by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1960 after a lapse of several decades and takes place at the end of Buddhist Lent, with robes presented to Buddhist monks as part of the event.

The royal processions, both by land and by water, exhibit the glory and great power of the monarch, in accordance with the traditional beliefs and court traditions handed down through generations. It also marks the conclusion of the Royal Coronation Ceremony, which is considered as one of the most important events for all Thai kings.