Apr 10, 2012

Get Wet At Songkran 2012!

Songkran lands at the end of the dry season, on what is typically the hottest day of the year. Thailand’s New Year’s celebration will be officially held on April 13-15 this year.

Songkran is about cleansing, cleaning, and attracting good luck for the new year. Many Thai use the holiday as an opportunity to clean their homes and shrines. Some use the holiday to travel to their native home town, or abroad. Hong Kong, Japan, China, and Malaysia are all popular tourist destinations for Thai travelers during the long Songkran weekend. Banks, office buildings, shops and restaurants will close down for the weekend, as families pay homage to Buddha, revellers take to the streets, and tourists flood city centers.

Weekend-Long Water Fight

songkran

via: suncat100

Water is central to the cleansing process, and in recent years, Songkran has  in large part become a nation-wide water fight. Locals and tourists combine forces to soak anyone who ventures outside of closed doors during the festival. Young people stake out street corners with water guns and buckets of water, and others use garden hoses. At the biggest festivals, caravans of trucks carry drunken revellers equipped with water guns and containers of water.

Tradition Lives On

Songkran Photo

via: theSuperStar

Traditionally, Songkran is a holiday for the Thai people to pay respects to family, elders, and monks. Many of the traditional rituals associated with Songkran are still practiced today. Many of Thailand’s Buddhists visit a wat for prayer, and cleanse images of Buddha at their local wat or at their own household shrines. Official provincial celebrations include pouring water into the hands of the elderly, and giving alms to Buddhist monks.

The Best Places To Celebrate

Songkran 2012

via: ol'pete

Each of Thailand’s provinces celebrate in different ways, and each celebration represents a piece of regional Thai culture in their own diverse ways. Some of the best Songkran celebrations are found in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket.

Chiang Mai celebrates Songkran for six days. Cultural celebrations, traditional performances, and street vendors create a lively atmosphere. Floats carrying Images of Buddha are driven through the city and bathed by revellers. The parade begins at Nawarat Bridge on the Mae Ping River, moves through Thapae Gate, and ends at Wat Prasingh, on the western end of the old city centre.

Songkran Image

via: Houston Marsh

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