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The Grand Royal Barge Procession: History in the Making
29 August 2019 | Written by dtnweb

This October, Bangkok will host the final event of King Vajiralongkorn’s coronation: The Royal Barge Procession on the Chao Phraya River. This unique spectacle, which for generations has been held to celebrate special occasions such as the crowning of kings, will include around 2,200 oarsmen rowing 52 decorative barges from Bangkok’s Wasukri pier to Wat Arun Temple.

Scheduled to take place on Thursday, 24th October 2019, the Grand Royal Barge Procession will travel 4km downriver to Wat Arun, where His Majesty the King will present ceremonial robes to Buddhist monks in a symbolic act known as the Royal Kathin Ceremony.

“I’d like to invite the public to admire his majesty, and the beauty and ancient civilization of Thailand,” Said Navy commander Luechai Rutdit, during a news conference at which he confirmed the dates of the ceremony. “Let me stress that no other country in the world is like us,” he continued.

The commander also confirmed there will be a total of ten rehearsals conducted on the Chao Phraya River in the build-up to the event. During this time, the river will be closed to the public. This means that a number of boat tours and cycling packages usually offered by Panorama Destination will be temporarily unavailable. See below for the dates in question.

Certain areas of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River will be closed to the public on the following dates:

September 3, 10, 17, 23, 27
October 3, 7 17, 21, 24

The Royal Barge Procession is a ceremony of both religious and royal significance, which has taken place for almost 700 years. The official royal barges showcase the nation’s finest craftsmanship and traditional Thai art. The Procession is seldom seen in Thailand, save only for the most significant cultural and religious events. During the long reign of Thailand’s previous monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which spanned more than 70 years, the procession only took place 16 times.

Visitors to Bangkok on Thursday, 24th October 2019 will have a chance to witness one of Thailand’s most spectacular and significant events, as the whole nation joyously welcomes their new King to the throne in the heart of the capital.