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Royal Barge Procession Thailand Now in December


The Royal Barge Procession Thailand – a very rare and grand event marking the end of the year-long celebrations of the new Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation – has been rescheduled to 12 December this year.

Originally planned to take place on 24 October, the Royal Barge Procession Thailand has been postponed due to “strong tides in the river” as reported on the Khaosod English website and in the Bangkok Post newspaper.

The famous procession will involve 52 Thai royal barges crafted from enormous pieces of teak wood, and 1,200 oarsmen dressed in traditional attire. The Royal Barge Procession Thailand is a very rare event that only takes place on special national occasions such as the coronation of a new Thai King.

For a detailed description and practical details about the December procession, please read our Royal Barge Procession 2019 event. For other Thai events and festivals, check out our Festivals in Thailand page.

Hundreds of officers of the Thai Royal Navy have been preparing and rehearsing for this unique event for over a year, while many thousands of spectators are expected to line the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok in the hope to catch a glimpse of the procession.

The gilded and intricately decorated vessels that make out the procession will stretch over a distance of one kilometre and take up some 100 metres in width.

The royal barges are masterpieces of Thai traditional art of which the most important one is the Suphannahong or ‘Golden Swan’. Measuring some 46 metres in length, this vessel was built in 1911 during Thai King Vajiravudh’s reign and is decorated with tiny shimmering glass jewels while its gilded bow is carved in the shape of a swan’s head. It’s this vessel that will carry King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his wife Queen Suthida during the December Royal Barge Procession.

For more Thailand travel inspiration:

Check out the official Tourism Authority of Thailand website.

Cover image: the procession of the Royal Barge on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok. Photo copyright Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

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Johan Smits

Freelance writer, translator, web content developer, author of the novel Phnom Penh Express and Tommy, a short story. Johan has travelled extensively since leaving his native Antwerp. He has lived in Taiwan, West Africa, Central Asia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand, where he now lives. Loves trying out local brews but tends to avoids noise. Chronically indecisive about where to lay down his hat.

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