Royal barge procession
Bangkok, 9 November 2012
Thailand's Royal Barge Procession (Thai: กระบวนพยุหยาตราชลมารค; RTGS: Krabuan Phayuhayattra Chonlamak) is a ceremony of both religious and royal significance which has been taking place for nearly 700 years. The exquisitely crafted Royal Barges are a blend of craftsmanship and traditional Thai art. The Royal Barge Procession takes place rarely, typically coinciding with only the most significant cultural and religious events. During the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, spanning over 60 years, the Procession has only occurred 16 times.
The Royal Barge Procession, in the present, consists of 52 barges: 51 historical Barges, and the Royal Barge, the Narai Song Suban, which King Rama IX built in 1994. It is the only Barge built during King Bhumibol's reign. These barges are manned by 2,082 oarsmen. The Procession proceeds down the Chao Phraya River, from the Wasukri Royal Landing Place in Khet Dusit, Bangkok, passes the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, Wat Po (Thai: วัดโพธิ์), and finally arrives at Wat Arun (Thai: วัดอรุณ, Temple of the Dawn).