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Royal Barge Procession is scheduled for 9 November 2012
Thailand Government Public Relations Department Translate This Article
1 October 2012
The government has assigned the Royal Thai Navy to orchestrate a royal barge procession on the Chao Phraya River for a traditional royal 'kathin' ceremony marking the end of the Buddhist Lent at historic riverside Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn.
The procession, which is also to celebrate the 85th birthday anniversary of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej the King on 5 December 2012, will take place between 3 pm and 5pm on 9 November 2012.
Eight small rehearsals will be carried out from September 21 to October 29 and two grand rehearsals on November 2 and November 6.
Navy Chief Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom said a fleet of 52 traditional barges and 2,200 oarsmen from 29 Royal Thai Navy units in Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and the Sattahip naval base in Chonburi provinces will participate in the procession. The procession will also include eight animal masthead barges, 22 lesser escort barges, or 'rua dang,' and 18 other vessels.
The first rehearsal of the flotilla was held recently after each navy unit has separately rehearsed during the past seven months. Fifty-two royal barges gracefully glided from the Wasukri royal landing on a breezy morning. Escorted by five columns of vessels, the procession was led by four exquisitely-crafted royal barges namely, Suphannahong, Narai Song Suban HM Rama IX, Anantanakkharat and Anekkachatpuchong.
Admiral Surasak said the navy is coordinating with the Royal Irrigation Department on water management as the river current will impact the procession. So far there was no suggestion of a problem.
According to the Royal Thai Navy, the boat song to be chanted in the procession this year is newly composed by a retired naval officer, Captain Thongyoi Saengsinchai, who has composed songs for royal barge processions since 1996. The oarsmen's costumes are provided as a courtesy by the Royal Household Bureau.
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