Thousands lined the Chao Phraya River yesterday to watch the dazzling royal barge procession, part of celebrations marking the King’s 85th birthday on Dec 5.
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Representing His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn rides the Suphannahongsa royal barge on the Chao Phraya River for the royal krathin (robe presentation) ceremony at Wat Arun yesterday. The royal barge procession is part of celebrations marking the King’s 85th birthday on Dec 5. CHANAT KATANYU
Pageantry and Spectacle
Thousands line Chao Phraya to watch the dazzling royal barge ceremony
Camera shutters clicked like a gigantic swarm of crickets, tourists gaped in awe and thousands of Thais turned out once again to honour the majestic spectacle of the royal barge procession along the Chao Phraya River yesterday. Every available vantage point was packed as the elegant ceremony displayed the country’s strong cultural and emotional attachment to the royal institution.
The regal Suphannahongsa royal barge carefully makes it way along the Chao Phraya after leaving Tha Wasukri pier CHANAT KATANYU
A closeup of a royal barge musician CHANAT KATANYU
The royal barge procession, with HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn seated on the regal Suphannahongsa comprised 51 stunningly decorated vessels in a dazzling display of pageantry.
The barges carried a royal krathin, from Wasukri pier to Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn.
A krathin is a set of clothing that Buddhists present to monks. It must take place within a month after the end of Buddhist Lent.
The three other important royal barges are the Anantanagaraj, the Narayana Song Suban Rama IX and the Anekajatbhujonga.
Kachen Petchwong, a 13-year-old student from Wat Rajaborpit School, said he and his friends arrived early in the morning to get the best vantage point they could find to see the rarely-seen royal barge procession. He especially wanted to see the Narayana Song Suban Rama IX.
‘‘I have just been to see it in the museum. I like the wonderful craftsmanship of Narai sitting on the Garuda. It is very beautiful. So I wanted to see it sailing on the river which was even more beautiful,’’ he said.
The Narayana Song Suban Rama IX as seen during the last dress rehearsal. CHANAT KATANYU
The royal barge Anekajatbhujonga. APICHIT JINAKUL
Amphai Khaobhrom, 64, said she was very excited at seeing the procession of barges. This was her first time watching it live having only ever seen it on television.
‘‘I wanted to be a part of the royal ceremony as it is one thing that I can do for the King. Everything is going well. I can see the strong efforts from people who are trying to do something for the King. I am very lucky to be born under his Barami [reign],’’ she said.
Colourful oarsmen CHANAT KATANYU
Piyanuch Ritchalee, 20, who accompanied her mother, said the procession was very elegant and beautiful. She had waited since 11am so she could get the best place to see the procession, which she said was really worthwhile.
After the procession finished at Wat Arun pier, people were still watching the royal barges floating along the river as it glimmered from the yellow light of the sunset.
Many foreign tourists stared in wonder at the splendour. Caroline Hawkin, a 23-year-old from the United States, said she had never seen anything so beautiful before.
A view from the crowd gathered on the bank of the Chao Phraya River in Phra Nakhon district to watch the procession APICHART JINKUL
‘‘It is different from anything I have ever seen. The barges are so beautiful. I was told about it by my hotel. It’s a lucky chance for me to see it,’’ she said.
Danis and his friend from France said the whole ceremony was extremely impressive, especially the beautiful barges and the way they were sailed.
‘‘It looks like barges from way back in history. During the Ayutthaya period, there were many boats in the river. Now, we can see it again in the 21st century,’’ he said.
royal barge – (in Thailand) a long, elaborately decorated boat used for royal ceremonies on the Chao Phyra River เรือพระราชพิธี
robe – a long loose outer piece of clothing เสื้อคลุมยาว
procession – a line of people, vehicles or boats moving in a slow and formal way as part of an event ขบวนที่เคลื่อนไป
mark – to celebrate something เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง
pageantry – the traditional features of formal ceremonies, for example special clothes, music and decorations ตามโบราณราชประเพณีในพิธีขบวนราชรถ
spectacle – an unusual or surprising sight or situation that attracts a lot of attention ภาพที่น่าตื่นเต้น, ปรากฎการณ์
dazzling – extremely impressive น่าประหลาดใจ, น่าพิศวง, น่าอัศจรรย์
shutter – the part of a camera that opens to allow light to pass through the lens when you take a photograph ทิ่ปิดเปิดรูแสงของกล้องถ่ายรูป
gigantic – extremely large ใหญ่โต
swarm – a large number of people, animals or insects moving together as a group กลุ่มจำนวนมากมาย
cricket – a small brown jumping insect that makes a loud high sound by rubbing its wings together จิ้งหรีด
gape – to look at somebody/something with your mouth open because you are shocked or surprised จ้องมองอ้าปากค้าง
awe – feelings of respect and slight fear; feelings of being very impressed by something/somebody ความน่าเกรงขาม, ความกลัวเกรง
majestic – impressive because of size or beauty สง่าผ่าเผย, สูงส่ง
vantage point – a position from which you can see things well จุดที่มองเห็นได้กว้างขวาง
elegant – attractive and showing a good sense of style สวยงาม, งดงาม, สละสลวย
display – an occasion when you show a particular quality, feeling or ability by the way that you behave การแสดงออก
emotional – related to strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general มีอารมณ์
attachment – a strong feeling of affection for somebody/something ความผูกพันทางอารมณ์
royal institution – the Thai monarchy, higher institution
regal – typical of a king or queen, and therefore impressive ราชา, สง่าผ่าเผย
comprise – to consist or be made up of two or more things ประกอบด้วย
stunning – very impressive or beautiful ที่ตระการตา
decorate – to make something look more attractive by putting nice things on it or in it ประดับ, ตกแต่ง
vessel – a boat or ship เรือ
pier – a platform sticking out into water which people walk along or use when getting onto or off boats ท่าเรือชนิดยื่นออกไปในน้ำ, สะพานที่ยื่นออกไปในน้ำ
rare – not often seen or found หาได้ยาก
craftsmanship – skill at making things ฝีมือ
dress rehearsal – the final practice of a play in the theatre, using the clothes and lights that will be used for the real performance การซ้อมใหญ่
live – happening now, i.e., not recorded earlier ถ่ายทอดสด
effort – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
accompany – to go with someone ไปกับ,ไปด้วยกัน,ไปเป็นเพื่อน
worthwhile – useful, important or good enough to be a suitable reward for the money or time spent or the effort made คุ้มค่ากับความพยายาม
glimmer – to shine with a faint (not bright) unsteady light ให้แสงสลัว
sunset – the time of the evening when the sun is no longer seen พระอาทิตย์ตกดิน
stare – to look at someone or something very directly for a long time จ้องมอง
wonder – something that fills you with surprise and admiration สิ่งน่าพิศวง
splendour – grand and impressive beauty ความงดงาม
gather – to come together in a group รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม
impressive – something that people admire because it is very good, very large or shows great skill ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
century – a period of one hundred years ศตวรรษ
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