History of the Royal Barges - a Timeless Tradition
The history of the royal barges dates back to the Sukhothai era in the 13th century when the first royal barges were reportedly seen. The barges were originally troop carriers at a time when it was more expedient to transport troops into battle along rivers.
As life in Thailand then was so intimately linked to the river, these barges were also used for religious and ceremonial purposes.
During the Ayutthaya era between the 14th - 18th centuries, the Royal Barge Ceremonies flourished, particularly during the reigns of King Naresuan and King Narai.
King Naresuan (1590 ? 1605 AD) named his personal barge Suphannahongsa and so started the first generation of this famous royal barge. Since then this has been the name of the King's personal barge. Two more versions have been built since.
In the reign of King Narai, the Royal Barge Processions became more elaborate and one such procession had more than 100 vessels.
Unfortunately all this came to an abrupt end in 1767 when the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya and destroyed all the barges. It was a sad period in the history of the royal barges.
The Thonburi era (1767 ? 1782) under King Taksin saw a reemergence of royal barge activity. During his reign the Emerald Buddha was brought from Vientiane to Ayutthaya. A hundred and fifteen barges went to Ayutthaya to receive this holy statue and bring it back to Bangkok. Another 131 vessels went up river to welcome the Emerald Buddha.
The Bangkok era, which commenced in 1782, saw a new dawn in the history of the royal barges. King Rama I revived the tradition of the royal barges. Sixty were built and modeled on designs in the early Bangkok era. A new Suphannahongsa was built to serve as the King's personal barge.
Royal barge construction continued under the reign of the Chari kings. King Rama IV ordered the construction of the Anantanakkharat with the seven-headed serpent Naga on the bow.
During the reign of King Rama V, a new Suphannahongsa was built. It was completed during the reign of King Rama VI in 1911. This version of Suphannahongsa is being used to this day as the King's personal barge.
The coup in 1932, when Thailand changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, brought about another abrupt halt to royal barge activity. Subsequent governments ceased the Royal Barge Ceremonies for the next 25 years.
The royal barges suffered a further setback when they were damaged by Japanese bombs during World War II. Damaged sections of these barges are still preserved at the Royal Barge Museum.
In 1957 the history of the royal barges took a turn for the better when King Rama IX had the barges restored to their former glory.
On 19 May 1957, the first Royal Barge Procession in 25 years sailed down the Chao Phraya River to commemorate the 25th century of the Buddhist Era. Since then, the tradition and grandeur of the royal barges have continued to this day.
The history of the royal barges reflects an enduring tradition that flows on timelessly like the Chao Phraya River.
For details on the royal barges, please see Types of Royal Barges.
This article by Eric Lim first appeared in Tour Bangkok Legacies, a historical travel site on people, places and events that shaped the landscape of Bangkok. Lim, a free-lance writer, lives in Bangkok, Thailand.
Humans are not special, hate to break it to you
I hate to break it to you, but humans are not all that special really. I laugh at the self importance humans place on this species as if some how they are better, more evolved or the divine work and special project of a God. There is actually not a single piece of evidence for that. We see the same general characteristics we see in humans in house pets, primates, birds and even fish. Yes, indeed we have a larger brain and the point is? Few humans bother to use its potential. Now that I have offended every human on the planet, let me recommend a book to you:
Mexican Living: So You Want To Expatriate?
Expatriate wannebees often ask us how we managed our expatriation to Guanajuato, Mexico. They want to know how we overcame the seemingly overwhelming logistics of deciding where to live, if it's affordable, if there is reasonable medical care, how to find housing, can Americans find work, what about visas, and will the culture shock be too great to handle?
Heraldry in the Crafts--Why Not Specialize?
I have a small website where I try to sell custom-made lapel buttons. In addition to these made-to-order buttons I also offer several specialty lines of off-the-shelf items and at this time of year I'm usually concerned with one of those lines in particular: Irish heraldic buttons. St. Patrick's Day approaches.
Progress Versus Perfection
From the creative explosion marking the outset of the universe to our advanced human stage in evolution, some fifteen billion years have elapsed. This advanced stage refers to the natural abilities and the cultural realizations of our species. While these natural abilities have virtually not changed in the last hundred thousand years, these cultural realizations have progressed exponentially over the same period. The former depend on a biological memory ? the genetic information that is stored in human cells and can be transmitted through reproduction. The latter depend on a social memory ? the didactic information that is stored in human libraries and can be transmitted through education. Together these two memories and modes of transmission supply the necessary tools to perpetuate and ameliorate humanity. The problem is that humans rarely use these tools to the maximum. They reproduce very well; more than five billion people testify to that; but they could do better in every other respect, witness the many instances of weakness and wickedness that tarnish their image.
Archaeology and Spirit Guides
One of the northern derivatives of Hopewell of interest to a few scholars is the anomalous Effigy Mound culture of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. The remains attract attention because of the range of animal forms represented by the low effigy mounds. There are sometimes burials at the "vital" points - hips, head or heart area - of the animals, but there is only the simplest of grave goods.
Carly Patterson: What Makes A Champion?
If you have been following gymnastics for any length oftime, odds are you have heard of a particular gymnast bythe name of Carly Patterson. You probably also know thatshe is one of the youngest female Olympic gymnasts ever -and that she has stunned the world of late with herastounding abilities. In 2004, she became the firstall-around Olympic champion for the United States in morethan two decades, and was also the first to win for the USin the past two games, an amazing feat indeed, consideringthese past Olympic games were fully attended! The lastfemale all-around gymnastics champion for the United Stateswon in 1984, when the Soviet Union had boycotted theOlympics entirely.
OM to Ogham
Plato observed that the advent of an alphabet making writing efficient for average people actually lead to less knowledge or disciplined communication. We need not blame the Phoenicians for this because people really could benefit from writing.
10 Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life
Ever walked into a house that felt like home? Ever reminisced about the best year of your life, and wondered why everything came together for you? It could be Feng Shui.
Tarot Cards Demystified: The Suit of Cups
There are many ways to interpret the symbolism found in Tarot Cards. There are varying points of view that exist about what each card means or represents. This is just one way of interpreting them. When you understand this method you will find it to be extremely accurate.
Astrologers Just Plain Stupid?
We live at an interesting time of scientific knowledge. Scientists say that you cannot gain an advantage over the Casino, since the odds are stacked against you. Scientists also say that Astrology does not seem feasible, since it does not fit in with known scientific laws. However, it is estimated that approximately 100 million people in the world either follow Astrology or see that there is some truth in it.
Amaterasu The Goddess of the Sun
Amaterasu is a shining example of how adversity can help us to 'blossom and bloom' more at times. She helps us look for the lesson to be learned when the adverse times come into our lives.
Ancient Indian Civilizations - Where Did They All Go?
In 1350 AD we were still quite a few centuries from settling at Plymouth. I have been luckily in that I have found adequate records back to 1200s in my family tree. But this is the time of the end of the inhabitants and Civilization of the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellers. Some stayed back we suppose, they are the Anastasi Indians. What else was going on in the world during this time? Well as the Indians were leaving there was another civilization flourishing in Thailand and the Thais people had built many city-states.
The New Age Movement
New Age - A Paradigm Shift to Divine Consciousness & a Universal Philosophy
What is Feng Shui, and How Does It Work?
Feng shui (say "fung shway"), often called the art of placement, could just as accurately be called "the art of flow." This ancient Chinese practice, literally translated as "wind" and "water," aims to maximize the beneficial movement of chi--the universal life force present in all things--through an environment.
Shakespeares Art: Understanding King Lear
Students of Shakespeare have spent a very great deal of time debating the meanings of "Othello", "King Lear", and "Macbeth". The wealth of criticism of any one of his plays can be overwhelming to the casual student. I cite my own experience as a high school student struggling to write credible criticism of "King Lear" whilst juggling History, German, and General Studies reading and assignments. Students benefit from guidance concerning what it is best; at the very least to make best use of the time they have, opting perhaps to read the very best sources only.
Export/Import of Inuit Eskimo Art Sculpture Containing Whalebone or Ivory
The export of certain Inuit sculpture from Canada to other parts of the world including the United States does have some restrictions. In order to reduce harvesting of marine animals such as whales and walruses, the United States Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972. It was later modified in 1981 and a special section (101) of the act was developed to exclude Eskimo Inuit and other aboriginals living in the state of Alaska. Section 101 allowed Alaskan Natives to continue their traditions of hunting marine mammals for food and using parts of such animals as raw materials in the making of clothes, crafts and artwork.
Precious Stones The Big Five - Part 4 The Diamond
The diamond is generally regarded as the premier gem in the world of precious stones.
Sixties: The Decade of Rebellion
It is safe to say that in the sixties everything changed: society, fashion, music, art, media, everything was impacted. It was a time when everyone truly believed they could make a difference, when it seemed as if the world had limitless possibilities and a few people trying really hard, willing to sacrifice everything, could change the direction of everything.And it proved the power of believing in yourself. Ordinary people did change things, extraordinary things like the attitude of society at large, like the way people viewed war and music and art. Student protests, often led by folk musicians, helped lead to the demise of the Vietnamese War, helped make social consciousness and equality for all a living fact, helped people really achieve the freedom that America and the West have always striven for. It was a remarkable time, and no wonder that many people look back to it as a time of dreams and passion.Social Activism, Celebrities, and MusicRock music became its own genre in the mid-1950s. Less than ten years later, the Beatles burst onto the music scene, the vanguard of a revolution in music. Parents hated them, sometimes even worse than they hated Elvis. But the kids loved them, and would buy anything with a picture of John, Paul, Ringo, or George. Their innovations paved the way for later artists, both British and American: the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Doors, The Mamas and the Papas ? dozens of legendary bands have the Beatles to thank.By the middle of the decade, the Beatles were writing songs about social issues, like war and loneliness. And other bands followed suit. There was a lot to write about; in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was leading American Blacks to unheard-of levels of social equality, and soon the British would put special military troops in Northern Ireland to quell the unrest there, leading to nearly-open guerilla warfare with the IRA. Women all over the world were following a movement to equal rights. And anti-war activists like Jane Fonda were making a name for themselves, both famous and infamous. Food: Trends Good And BadThough founded much longer ago, McDonalds and other fast food restaurants grew into a major power in the food industry during the 60s, probably driven by the high energy of the time coupled with an increasing dependence on automobiles as a means of transportation. At the same time the stuff that's bad for you became popular, other people began to realize that you really are what you eat. Because of new age conservationist movements, those people began to eat healthier: whole grains, organic foods they grew themselves, and semi-vegetarianism, vegetarianism, and vegan lifestyles.War: What Is It Good For?You can't talk about the sixties, the decade of peace, without talking about war. Particularly, you have to look at the Vietnamese war. The US entered the country in Southeast Asia in the early 1960s at the request of the French ? who subsequently abandoned the war. And America's presence in Vietnam grew, gradually forcing a draft of the very young men who were just discovering the dizzying freedom the sixties ushered in. The result? An impressive increase in the numbers of young people going to college, and an equally impressive increase in the number of young men moving to Canada.Ref: http://www.sixties.gb.comBut why was this war so different from Korea, only about ten years earlier? The simple answer: television. Reporters with cameras covered the bloodiest parts of the war, capturing the pain on both sides in film. And those films made their way to broadcast television, which for the first time could be found in half or more American homes. It was difficult to watch the images of war without being moved, and it was a real shock to teenagers and young adults who had never known the touch of violence before.But there was another kind of war going on, a social war. Blacks in America were discovering their power, partly spurred by the thought of the draft and partly by the energy of the decade carrying them forward. Women throughout the world were discovering not only their political power, but the social freedom brought about by a little pill ? the birth control pill. For better or worse, relations between the sexes would never be the same.Sixties Fun, Games, and FashionToys were undergoing change, too. Physical games, like Frisbees and Twister, became very popular indeed. Boys began collecting Matchbox cars, the latest rage; and the self-image of little girls everywhere was changed as Barbie dolls, Sindy dolls, and other anatomically correct dolls that weren't baby dolls entered their pink frilly rooms. Older boys were finding they had much more to look at than ever before. Girls' skirts moved from the near-ankle-length full skirts of the fifties to the short ? shorter ? shortest skirts of the sixties. Short skirts and midriff-revealing hipster jeans also made it important that as little cellulite as possible showed ? girls could no longer wear industrial-strength girdles. The most effective way of getting rid of cellulite? Be as thin as possible. The other problem with changing clothes was that if you used garters (or suspenders, if you're in Britain) they showed under the short tight skirts. The answer? Pantyhose, an invention of the devil.Inventions and InnovationsComputers also moved from being a scientific curiosity to a genuine industrial innovation; punch cards and tape were the programming tools of the time ? until the integrated circuit, the precursor to today's microchips. This innovation led to the development of the hand-held pocket calculator by Texas Instruments, though calculators did not come into general use until the early seventies. But the world didn't understand how much science and technology was really going to change their lives ? until Neil Armstrong spoke to the world from the surface of the Moon in 1969. It was a fitting end to a remarkable decade.
Mexican Living: Issues of Life
This morning when I got out of bed, I had some severe issues that have been worrying me.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|