Drench it up in Thailand this Songkarn, now that Holi is over!

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thailand“Songkran Splendours”

“Songkran” is a traditional festival in Thailand. The root of the word comes from Sanskrit, meaning ‘transformation’ or ‘change; to be specific, the transformation of the zodiac signs.

            The Songkran Festival has been the Thai New Year celebration for centuries. The Festival symbolises hospitality, love, and relationship in families, communities, and society as a whole. This celebration takes place in mid-Summer, when the sun moves into Aries on the astrological chart. Therefore, water is used to cool down the heat, as well as to show respect and receive blessings from elder relatives and pray for those who have passed away. As for community bonding, activities that take place during this celebration include building sand pagodas, making merit, and throwing water at each other. Moreover, as a part of the tradition, it is also a big cleaning day, which creates a sense of community.

            At present, the date of the ‘Great Songkran’ (Maha Songkran) or the ‘New Year’ is set on 13April, the date that the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, the day when day and night are equal. The Songkran Festival consists of 3 full days of making merit. Maha Songkran Day or New Year’s eve falls on 13April, Nao Day or the day in the middle on 14  April, and lastly the New Year on 15April.

            Nowadays both Thais and foreigners are showing more interest in joining the Songkran Festival, especially in splashing water. Hence, both the public and private sectors agree to host the Songkran celebration in various locations in order to create a distinct atmosphere for visitors to enjoy the festivity. And most importantly, the hosts pay most attention on making sure that participants will be safe and have great moments during their time in the Thai New Year, ‘Songkran Splendours’.

Songkran-Chiangmai-002BB

 

  1. Khao San Road, Bangkok

Date and Time:  13-15 April 2014

10.00-23.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Khao San Road, Bangkok

More Information:           Phra Nakhon District Office – Tel.: 0 2628 9068

  1. Silom Road, Bangkok

Date and Time:  13-15 April 2014

10.00-00.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Silom Road, Bangkok

More Information:           Bangrak District Office – Tel.: 0 2236 1395 # 6211

  1. Around the City Moat, Chiang Mai

Date and Time:  12-16April 2014

09.00-22.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Around Chiang Mai City’s moat

More Information:           Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chaing Mai Office

– Tel.: 0 5327 6140-1

  1. Pattaya and Chon Buri

Date and Time:  11-20 April 2014

9.00-00.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          North, Central, and South of Pattaya

Lan Bodhi (Na Kluea) Park

More Information:           Tourism Authority of Thailand, Pattaya Office (Chon Buri)

– Tel.: 0 3842 2667, 0 3842 7850

  1. Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen

Date and Time:  5-15 April 2014

10.00-20.30 Hrs.

Venue:                          Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen

More Information:           Tourism Authority of Thailand, Khon Kaen Office

– Tel.: 0 4322 7714-6

  1. Patong Beach, Phuket

Date and Time:  12-13 April 2014

10.00-22.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Patong Beach, Kathu District, Phuket

More Information:           Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office

– Tel.: 0 7621 1036

 

  1. Nipat Uthit 3, Sanehanusorn Road, and Wat Mahatta Mangkhalaram,

“Hat Yai Midnight Songkran”, Songkhla

Date and Time:  11-15April 2014

10.00-23.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Nipat Uthit 3 Road

Sanehanusorn Road

Wat Mahatta Mangkhalaram

More Information:           Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hat Yai Office (Songkhla)

– Tel.: 0 7423 1055

  1. Songkran Ko Samui, Surat Thani

Date and Time:  13 April 2014

09.00-22.00 Hrs.

Venue:                          Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui, Surat Thani

More Information:           Ko Samui Municipal Office – Tel.: 0 7742 1421-2

Ko Samui Tourism Centre – Tel.: 0 7742 0504

Ko Samui Tourism Association – Tel.: 0 7742 6932

 

Tips to fully enjoy Songkran

  • ·In the morning, Thais make merit and listen to sermons for blessing, as it is a New Year celebration.
  • ·To purify the Buddha or other statues, the water should not be poured right on the head, rather on other parts of the statues.
  • ·The custom of pouring water on elders’ (above 60 years old) hand, is to show them your respect and ask them for a New Year blessing.
  • ·Water that is used to splash on others should be clean or mixed with Thai traditional fragrance.
  • ·Avoid using a high-pressured water gun or splash water aggressively on others.