Skip to content

Songkran on the Beach

March 8, 2011

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the Songkran Splendours Festival campaign that offers visitors from all over the globe memorable experiences with a variety of delightful, traditional celebrations of the Thai New Year.

As this year marks the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday, the Songkran Splendours Festival is focusing on marvellous and engaging cultural events that will take place in Bangkok and 12 history-rich cities across Thailand during 7 to 19 April, 2011.

“Songkran is the biggest and most important festival of the year when friends and families gather to celebrate the Thai New Year, honour their elders, and, of course, join in the fun of splashing each other. It’s like the Western holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one, and is very popular with visitors who want to experience true Thai sanook, or the fun, of this amazing festival,” said Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

While renowned worldwide for its water-splashing street parties, Songkran stems from ancient traditions that are still observed. Songkran is a time for reunions, when families get together and renew their ties and honour family elders. The meaningful elements of Songkran are expressed through culture-rich ceremonies and rituals that reflect both the essence of “Thainess” as well as local beliefs and practices.

The word “Songkran,” which means “move into,” has its roots in the Sanskrit language. The water that symbolizes Songkran has an underlying significance, as it represents the cleansing and purification process. Songkran is actually the original Thai New Year, marking the end of a twelve -month cycle and the beginning of a new solar year.

During Songkran, community spirit is reflected in activities such as the spring-cleaning of temples, presenting merit-making offerings to monks, rituals in which Buddha statues and images are bathed with scented lustral water to show respect, building sand stupas and decorating temple grounds. Another charming Songkran tradition is showing gratitude to elders and respected individuals by pouring scented lustral water over their hands.

“The 2011 Songkran Festival is a very special one, as we will also honour the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday. Visitors to Thailand will enjoy a richer cultural experience this year with a series of events planned for 13 locations nationwide to commemorate H.M. the King’s birthday. With the Songkran Splendours Festival, visitors can experience the unique ways in which people living in different areas of Thailand celebrate Songkran and experience many different aspects of Thailand’s heritage,” added Mr. Suraphon.

The Songkran Splendours Festival features great activities and inspiring events in Bangkok as well as in 12 provinces across five regions of Thailand: the North, Northeast, Central, East, and South. While Chiang Mai and Sukhothai are key venues for visitors who want a northern Thailand Songkran experience, provinces in the Northeast; such as, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, and Nong Khai offer a somewhat different perspective on the festival. The Songkran Splendours Festival will also highlight Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, and Samut Prakan, three provinces in Central Thailand. Beach lovers are welcome to celebrate Songkran in the eastern province of Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, or in Phuket on the Andaman Sea. Visitors can enjoy Songkran with a southern flavour in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Hat Yai in Songkhla province.

Songkran on the Beach, Phuket (10- 13 April, 2011)

Visitors can join in a communal Thai New Year merit-making ceremony, witness a procession of Phra Phuttha Sihing Buddha images along Patong Beach, and pay homage to elders with scented lustral water. A range of events will be held at Loma (Dolphin) Public Park and the port, and the Jungceylon activity plaza overlooking Patong Beach.

 

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: