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The intricately ornamented barges are kept in a museum, but on days of utmost national importance, the royal naval oarsmen re-enact an ancient and glittering procession down the river, past Bangkok's most revered temples and palaces.

Royal barge
On year 1996 a Royal Barge Procession was held to celebrate His Majesty's The King's Jubilee or his 50th years of being King of Thailand.
Royal Barge Procession in 1996

On the 4 November 1999 Thai and foreigners lined the banks of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok to witness the Royal Barge Procession. In the middle of the afternoon, the ceremony began as the King Rama IX boarded the Royal Barge Subanahongsa. The Prince and one of the Princess boarded other barges. The flotilla then made its way to Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn, the 52 barges forming up in five columns around the King's royal barge. All the barges were manned by 2082 crew from the Royal Thai Navy. Paddles flashed in synchronised movement and the crew were singing. The procession stretched along the river for 1100m and 90m across it. At the Temple of Dawn the King Rama IX presided at the Royal Kathin Ceremony. During the "Kathin" ceremony clothes are offered to monks.

This spectacular procession happened seldom and it is always a big even which shows the great and deep thai culture.

Year 1999 is the year of the 72nd birthday of the King Rama 9. It is an important event because it is the start of a new 12 years cycle. Due to Chinese influence, astrological cycles which last 12 years are very important.
King Rama 9
King Rama IX

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