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РУССКИЙ   IN ENGLISH   ภาษาไทย Attention: Announcement by the National Legislative Assembly on the Invitation for the Ascension of the Heir to the Throne ** Remarks of H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, On 15 October 2016 ** Foreign Media Reports on the Passing of HM Bhumibol Adulyadej ** Activities: Ambassador of Thailand to the Russian Federation paid a courtesy call on Mr. Aleksei Gruzdev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation ** The Royal Thai Embassy made merit to pay humble tribute to His Majestythe late King Bhumibol Adulyadej ** News: The Royal Rainmaking ** *The Royal Thai Embassy welcomed the re-launch of the Thai Airways in Moscow * **
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    Royal Barge Procession - RTE Moscow :

    Thai Arts & Culture

    Royal Barge Procession

    A Brief History

    From historical evidence, the Royal Barge Procession began around 700 years ago during the Sukhothai period. In those days, the barges were used as battleships. When the need for battle ceased, they were preserved for ceremonial purposes. The processions were arranged for river journeys made by His Majesty the King of Thailand for private functions or state ceremonies such as the Royal Kathin Ceremony, the Coronation Ceremony, the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Lord Buddha’s footprint, the installation of the holy Buddha images from the provinces and the reception of envoys from foreign countries. The ancient royal tradition continued through the Ayudhaya, Thonburi, and Rattanakosin (more commonly referred to as Bangkok) Periods.

    During the Rattanakosin Periods, the ancient Thai tradition was revived and preserved as an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Nowadays, the Royal Barge Procession is only used to mark and celebrate in significant royal and state ceremonies, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th Birthday celebrations and Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Accession to the Throne as well as the APEC Summit in 2003.

    Introducing the Principle Barges

    The flotilla is arranged in accordance with the importance, origin and function of each barge in the Royal Barge Procession. In former reigns, the royal barges were classified into two types: 1) the elaborately carved and gilded royal barges and 2) the wooden royal barges. The first type was used for state ceremonies while the second was used for the King’s private functions.

    The King’s Royal Barge with covered throne and regalia is the most important barge in the Royal Barge Procession. Even though each royal barge is elaborately carved, gilded and ornamented, the King’s Royal Barge can be differentiated from the other royal barges. The Signalman in the King’s Royal Barge signals the oarsmen by using castanets, while the other royal barges set the tempo by tamping the poles.

    • Suphannahong Royal Barge – The Suphannahong Royal Barge is the highest-ranking “King’s Royal Barge” that is used only by the King. The original barge was built during the Ayudhaya Period. This royal barge with its swan-like figurehead is elaborately carved, gilded and decorated with countless small of mirrors. The underbody is painted black and the interiors was painted red. The World Ship Trust presented the “Maritime Heritage Award” to the “Suphannahong Royal Barge” on 4 June 1992 to acknowledge her historic importance.

    • The Narai Song Suban King Rama IX Royal Barge – The Narai Song Suban King Rama IX Royal Barge is classified as a “secondary Royal Barge”. It features the figurehead of the god Vishnu riding on the Garuda. The god Vishnu has 4 arms bearing a trident, a scepter, a discus and a conch shell. The present Royal Barge was commissioned to commemorate the 50th Anniversary Celebration of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Accession to the Throne. The original barge was built at the command of King Rama III in accordance with the ancient royal tradition of the Ayudhaya Period and was christened “Mongkulsuban Royal Barge”.

    • The Anantanagaraj Royal Barge – The Anantanagaraj Royal Barge is also classified as a “secondary Royal Barge” and is used to carry the King or to install holy objects. The present Anantanagaraj was built during the reign of King Rama VI as the successor of the original barge that was built during the reign of King Rama IV. The Anantanagaraj has a figurehead of a seven-headed serpent that is carved, gilded and decorated with small mirrors. The hull is painted green and interior painted red.

    • The Anekchatphutchong Royal Barge – The Anekchatphutchong Royal Barge is classified as the third-ranking barge among the “Secondary Royal Barge” and is used for unofficial proceedings. This is the only royal barge built during the reign of King Rama V. The Anekchatphutchong is majestically plain with no pictorial figurehead. The barge is carved and gilded in the pattern of small serpents. The hull is painted pink, and the interior red.

    • The Khrut Hoen Het Barge and the Khrut Tret Traichak Barge – These ceremonial barge have the figurehead of the Garuda gripping a naga in each hand and foot. The origin of these two barges is unknown. The stem is gilded in the traditional floral pattern and decorated with small mirrors. They are thought to have been built during the Rattanakosin Period. The Garuda of Khrut Hoen Het Barge has a red body and the Garuda of Khrut Tret Traichut Barge has a pink body.

    • The Pali Rang Thaveep Barge and the Sukreep Krong Muang Barge – These two ancient Thai battleships with monkey figureheads straddling the cannon ports are classified as ceremonial barges. The date of their construction is unknown. Each barge is decorated with gilded floral pattern over black lacquer on the hull. The interior is painted red. Pali Rang Thaveep Barge has the figurehead of the monkey king with a green body. Sukreep Krong Muang Barge has the figurehead of the monkey king with a red body.

    • The Asura Wayuphak Barge and the Asura Paksi Barge – These two ancient Thai battleships have Demon Kings – half ogre, half-bird – figureheads straddling the cannon ports. The date of their construction is unknown. Each barge is decorated with gilded floral pattern over black lacquer on the hull. The interior is painted red. Asura Wayuphak Barge has an indigo figurehead – while the Asura Paksi Barge has a green figurehead.

    • The Krabi Ran Ron Rap Barge and The Krabi Prap Muang Man Barge – The two ancient Thai battleships with monkey figureheads are classified as ceremonial barges. The stem is gilded in the traditional floral pattern. The date of their construction is unknown. Each barge is decorated with gilded floral pattern over black lacquer on the hull. The interior is painted red. Krabi Ran Ron Rap Barge has the figurehead of Nilaphat, the monkey warrior, with a black body. Krabi Prap Muang Man Barge has the figurehead of Hanuman, the monkey warlord, with a white body.

    • The Thong Kwan Fa Barge and the Thong Ba Bin Barge – These two barges take part in the Royal Barge Procession as the leading barges. The origin of these two barges are unknown. Each barge has a sharp-pointed stem. Both stem and stern are carved, gilded over black lacquer, and decorated with small mirrors. The hull is coated with black oil paint without pattern.

    • The Sua Thayan Chon Barge and the Sua Khamron Sindh Barge – These two barges were used in the army as destroyers. The date of their construction is unknown. Each barge is painted with a tiger head and the hull is decorated with tiger stripes. The interior is painted red.

    • The Ekachai Hern Hao Barge and the Ekachai Lao Thong Barge - These two barges were built during the reign of King Rama I. They were used either as the pilot barges or to tow Suphannahong Royal Barge when there was a shortage of oarsmen. Each barge has a tapered cylindrical figurehead. A mythical crocodile plated with gold leaves over black lacquer is depicted on the hull.

    The Royal Barge Chanting

    The traditional boat song was chanted to keep the rowing synchronized. The Royal Barge chanting is considered to have originated from the Brahman chanting and its tradition is considered an important part of the Royal Barge Procession and Thai cultural heritage.



    Source: Royal Thai Embassy, Moscow
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