Sailors rehearse a royal barge procession on Chao Phraya River on April 30, 2019, in front of the Grand Palace. The actual procession is set to take place on Oct. 24, 2019.

Update: The procession is now postponed to Dec. 12

BANGKOK — A royal barge procession presided over by His Majesty the King will grace a Bangkok river on Oct. 24, the navy announced Friday.

The event, which will involve up to 52 elaborately crafted river barges and 2,200 seamen, is part of year-long celebrations of King Vajiralongkorn’s coronation. Navy commander Luechai Rutdit said ten rehearsals will take place on Chao Phraya River from Sunday onward.

“I’d like to invite the public to admire his majesty, and the beauty and ancient civilization of Thailand,” Admiral Luechai said at a news conference. “Let me stress that no other country in the world is like us.”



The tradition of royal river processions dates back hundreds of years; the last procession took place in 2012 though the monarch at the time, King Bhumibol, was not personally present due to his failing health.

King Vajiralongkorn’s river journey on Oct. 24 will start at Tha Wasukri royal pier in Dusit district and end at Wat Arun Wanaram, aka the Temple of Dawn, on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River.

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Rowers dressed in traditional garbs at the navy’s news conference on July 5, 2019.