Thai festivals you shouldn't miss! Most festivals depend on the lunar calendar, so the date varies from year to year. Verify the right dates with for example the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Royal Barges Procession (กระบวนพยุหยาตราชลมารค)

A very spectacular sight is the Royal Barges Procession. The royal fleet totals around 100 barges that are used for important ceremonies like the Kathan robe-giving ceremony, when the King offers robes to the monks at major temples.

The barges, which are classical frigates and barges with figureheads, are rowed by oarsmen from the Royal Thai Navy, dressed in traditional red and gold costumes. Their rowing looks more like a dance with the oars and is accompanied by their chanting, which creates a very special atmosphere. The main barge is the Supphanahongse, which can be recognised by its dragon head. All other barges have a fixed location and are grouped around the Supphanahongse.

Nowadays the procession is held only occasionally, but don't miss it if you have a chance to see it. When not in use, the barges are on view in the Royal Barges Museum. Video

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