Rare Royal Barge Procession to mark King’s 85th birthday

THE ROYAL BARGE PROCESSION on the Chao Phraya – the River of Kings – is an ancient tradition revived by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1959, and the last of its kind in the world.

One of the grandest spectacles in all of Thailand and has been held only 16 times during the king’s reign.  The most recent Royal Barge Procession was held in 2006 for the diamond jubilee celebrations to honor the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol’s accession to the throne.

The ceremony, which will mark the end of Buddhist Lent and celebrate  his upcoming 85th birthday, will take place on Nov. 9 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Eight small rehearsals have been ongoing throughout September and October, and two grand dress rehearsals will take place on November 2 and November 6.

The procession will start from Rama VIII Bridge (Vasukri Pier) and go down the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun Ratchawararam, also known as the Temple of Dawn.

A fleet of 52 traditional-style barges and a total of 2,200 oarsmen from various units within the Royal Thai Navy will participate in what will become a unique and memorable experience for all spectators in attendance.

For more information, visit www.tourismthailand.org/us.

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