I had already told you about the Royal Barges procession that will take place on October 24th in Bangkok but we have now more precise information on the two dress rehearsals and the processional itself. So here is what you need to know if you intend to attend this unique event.
The last two rehearsals that will take place on October 17th and 21th, 2019 and will be complete dress rehearsals and if the King and Queen will not participate, they will look a lot like the actual procession scheduled for the 24th October.
They both will take place at 15:30 the same time as the 24th October procession.
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, accompanied by Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, will cruise a small part of Chao Phraya river in Bangkok in a royal procession that follows the royal coronation ceremony held in May earlier this year.
The procession of the Royal Barges, is a rare event, organized for special occasions only. The last one took place 7 years ago. It is scheduled for Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 15:30. Their Majesties the King and Queen will embark aboard of the Royal Suphannahong Barge at Wasukri Pier and disembark at Ratchaworadit Pier.
The 3.4 kilometers trip will take approximately 45 minutes. The procession will include 52 ceremonial barges, including four royal barges.
About 2,300 rowers were trained to align the barges into five groups. Songs will rhythm the rowing.
Various sites along both banks of the Chao Phraya River will be set up to accommodate the public who is invited to wear yellow shirts, the color of the King’s birthday.
There will be 10,700 seats planned as follows:
- Santichai Prakan Park (1,500 people)
- Thammasart University (1,800 people)
- Nagaraphirom Park (2,300 people)
- Siriraj Hospital (100 people)
- Park of the 72nd birthday of King Bhumibol (1,000 people)
- Under the bridge Rama VIII (Thonburi) (4,000 people).
Bridges on the route of the procession will be closed to traffic.
Six temples on both sides of the Chao Phraya River will hold a Buddhist chanting ceremonies in honor of Their Majesties and will each begin singing as the Royal Barge approaches the river front of the temple:
- Wat Rachathiwat Ratchaworawihan
- Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawiharn
- Wat Sam Phraya
- Wat Bowon Mongkhon
- Wat Karuhabodee
- Wat Rakhang Kositaram
I do not know if these ceremonies will be open to the public.
The next day, October 25, at Wat Arun , His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will offer robes to the monks as part of the royal ceremony of Kathin.
Wat Arun will certainly be closed to the public on October 25th and maybe on the 24th as well. For rehearsals, I do not know but it is possible that this is also the case.
I have not managed to find any official information, but several sources tell me that taking photos during the procession on October 24th could be very regulated. It will be easier to photograph the rehearsals.
Do not forget to check the “Events in Thailand” section regularly for upcoming events and festivals in the country.