The world’s most unique water festival – Thailand’s Grand Songkran Splendours 2014
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today announced the official opening ceremony of its “Grand Songkran Splendours 2014” which will see fun and family-friendly activities arranged for locals and visitors alike, up and down the Kingdom of Thailand from 11-20 April,2014.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “The Songkran Festival is one of the most joyous and meaningful celebrations for the Thai people and one that goes back many hundreds of years. We would like to share the fun by encouraging tourists, both local and international, to join in the celebrations of the world’s most unique water festival.”
“This year the theme is Songkran Splendours 2014 and once again, it should be a joyous nationwide event. We expect that many thousands of people will come to join the party, which as always, is unlike anything that can be found anywhere else in the world.”
This year, TAT will be joining with various provincial authorities to organise and host Songkran Splendours activities in 12 major provinces of the four Thai regions. These will include Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Chon Buri, and Samut Prakan in the Central region; Chiang Mai and Sukhothai in the North; Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, and Nong Khai in the Northeast; and Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phuket in the South.
The theme of this year’s Grand Songkran celebrations was chosen to reflect the traditional beliefs that the element of water is imbued with near miraculous qualities. Water, after all, is life and during Songkran, helps to unite families and bring friends together.
According to traditional Thai beliefs, water is a symbol of purity, prosperity and happiness, and has always played a vital symbolic role in day-to-day Thai living down the generations – be it at weddings, funerals and even temple ceremonies.
While the media tends to focus on the good-natured water play of the Songkran Festival, there is actually a deeper meaning behind the fun. At this time of year, water is used to pay homage to Buddha images and also brings families together who travel long distances to spend time with each other. The fun of the Festival also helps strengthen friendships, no matter what your religious persuasion, age or race. Little wonder that this, the longest holiday of the Thai year, is also the most anticipated and enjoyed.
The TAT Governor said, “The spirit of Songkran burns brightly in the heart of every Thai man and woman, and we want to organise this event to ensure that we protect the ancient cultural heritage of Thailand for generations to come. The Songkran Festival has been enjoyed by Thais for many hundreds of years, and we want to see it continue with its ancient values intact, as well as the fun of the water play that so many people around the world come here to enjoy.”
“This year, in all of the major provinces, we have arranged many activities which will appeal to both local and international tourists alike. As well as the usual fun of water splashing, visitors will also be able to experience the ancient cultural aspects of Songkran in Thailand. It is a festival that boasts as many spiritual aspects as it does sanuk (the Thai word for fun), and this makes it stand out – there really is nothing in the world like Songkran in Thailand.”
The Songkran Splendours 2014 should also help cement Thailand’s reputation as ASEAN’s regional tourism hub. The fun and festivities of the Thai New Year will once again raise awareness of the kingdom as a fun place to visit and showcase its unique festivals to foreign tourists. By ensuring that Songkran Splendours 2014 is fun for everyone, more revenue will be created, from Thai and international tourists alike, and Thailand’s economy is sure to benefit as a whole.