The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invites the world to enjoy the “Songkran Splendours Festival,” which highlights the many traditional celebrations that take place during Songkran, the festival marking the Thai New Year. The Songkran Splendours Festival offers a range of exciting and engaging cultural events that will take place in Bangkok and 12 history-rich cities across Thailand from 9 to 24 April 2012.
A word with roots in the Sanskrit language, “Songkran,” means “move into.” Historically, it marked the end of a twelve -month cycle and the beginning of a new solar year. Water plays a major role in the Songkran Festival, symbolizing the cleansing and purification process.
“Songkran is the annual festival that all Thais look forward to, as it brings together families and friends to celebrate the Thai New Year by honouring their elders, while relieving the summer heat by joyfully splashing each other. It's a uniquely Thai combination of honouring ancient traditions while having a good time together, which makes the Songkran Festival popular with visitors who want a memorable Thai experience,” said Mr Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The Songkran Festival is based on ancient traditions that recognize the importance of family ties and the progression of life by honouring family elders. Meaningful cultural ceremonies that take place throughout the country also engage communities and welcome visitors to take part.
Communities throughout Thailand really come to life during the Songkran Festival. Cultural traditions include
o cleaning temples,
o making merit with monks,
o bathing Buddha statues and images with scented lustral water to show respect,
o and decorating temple grounds.
Many communities also feature parades, street parties and other events that offer visitors to Thailand a chance to immerse themselves in Thai culture in a fun and fascinating way.
“During the 2012 Songkran Festival, visitors to Thailand can enjoy a series of events taking places throughout the country, so they can experience how people living in different areas of Thailand celebrate the Songkran Festival," added Mr Suraphon.
Highlights of the Songkran Splendours Festival and the 13 provinces include:
Sukhothai Songkran Festival (9 - 19 April 2012)
Hat Yai Midnight Songkran Festival, Songkhla (11 - 13 April 2012)
Maha Songkran Festival – Hae Nang Dan Muang Nakhon (11-15 April, 2012)
Nakhon Phanom Songkran Festival (11 - 15 April 2012)
Isan Songkran Festival, Dok Khun Siang Khaen Festival, and Khao Niao Street (11 - 18 April 2012)
Songkran on the Beach, Phuket (12 - 13 April 2012)
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival (12 - 15 April 2012)
Nong Khai Songkran Festival (12 - 15 April 2012)
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival (13 April 2012)
Suphanburi Maha Songkran 2012 (13 - 16 April 2012)
Chon Buri Songkran Festival (13 - 21 April 2012)
Phra Pradaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakan (22 - 24 April 2012)