via Bangkok Post, 22 Sep 2019: The first royal barge procession under the reign of the new king Rama X will take place in Bangkok next month.
The Oct 24 royal barge procession — when His Majesty the King will attend the royal kathin (monk’s robe-giving) ceremony — is fast approaching.
His Majesty will travel along the Chao Phraya river in a flotilla of 52 ceremonial barges and boats. The procession will begin at Wasukri pier and end at Wat Arun Ratchawararam. Rehearsals have been underway for months.
The royal barge procession can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period more than 300 years ago. A piece of literature known as lilit phayuha yattra phetphuang, penned by Chao Phraya Phrakang Hon in 1887 during the reign of King Chulalongkorn of the Rattanakosin period, mentioned the launch of the phetphuang royal barge procession, modelled on a similar ceremony in the Ayutthaya period, joined by boats whose masthead figures were elaborately carved into mythical animals.
In the past, other processions by boats served either royal functions or river festivals enjoyed by ordinary people.
Source: Procession for the ages