Published: 11 Apr 2013 at 00.00
Songkran is a centuries-old festival which marks the beginning of the traditional Thai new year. It is a unique fun-filled event during which we splash others with scented water.
People enjoy Songkran in Bangkok.
Freed from routine work for a few days, Thais take the time to perform various rites designed to show respect to their forebears and senior members of the family. Highlights include sprinkling the hands of their elders with scented water, pouring the water on Buddha statues and joining in family reunions.
This year, Great Songkran Day falls on April 14 and the designated symbol is Mahothorn Thewi, a lady who lies down with her eyes closed on a peacock’s back, wears a Java hyacinth flower behind one ear and has a discus in her right hand and a trident in her left.
Every region in the country will celebrate the festival. Here is the list of interesting places where you can enjoy the splendour of Songkran.
Grand Songkran Festival, taking place from April 12 until April 16 at four different venues, under the theme of the reproduction of the four regions’ Songkran celebrations. The four will allow you to enjoy the occasion in different ways.
The Northern-style Songkran at Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho)
The Central-style Songkran at Wat Saket
The Northeastern-style Songkran at Wat Ratcha Orasaram
The Southern-style Songkran at Wat Suthat Thepwararam
Visitors are encouraged to wear traditional Thai costumes when visiting the temples and making merit.
The 2013 Old City Songkran Festival will be held during April 13-16 in and around the ancient city area and Wat Thong Bo in Tambon Sao Kradong of Ayutthaya.
Highlights will be splashing water with elephants, seeing the parade of traditional flags and bathing Buddha images at Wat Thong Bo in Tambon Sao Kradong.
Dok Khun Siang Khaen Songkran Festival will be held from now until April 15 at Bueng Kaen Nakhon and Khao Nieo. The main venue for water splashing is Khao Nieo Road.
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival will be held from now until April 16 in downtown Chiang Mai. Activities include the procession and bathing of the Phra Buddha Sihing image on April 13, the parade of local Lanna women riding bicycles while holding umbrellas, paying respect to elders, building sand pagodas, watching local art, cultural shows and beauty contests and water splashing around the city moat.
Songkran On The Beach Festival will last from now until April 15 in Soi Bangla on Patong Beach. Activities include the procession of the Phra Buddha Sihing image around Patong Beach, a floral parade, Little Miss Songkran beauty pageant, an art and cultural exhibition and water splashing.
Hat Yai Midnight Songkran will be celebrated from now until April 14 at Odeon Intersection on Saneh Anusorn Road and Niphat Uthit 3 Road.
Apart from water splashing, activities include the procession of Phra Buddha Sihing, a floral parade, Miss Songkran beauty pageant, free concerts and the midnight parade, a foam party and the Kon Prok Mueang prayer ceremony, among others.
Contact Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Call Center 1672 or visit www.songkran.net
Any comments or news to share?