Thailand staged grand Songkran celebrations to illustrate the true spirit of Thai New Year

Songkran Festival

Songkran Festival at Thai Buddhist temple. Photo: Jan / flickr.

Bangkok, 11 April, 2016 – Thailand is elevating the profile of the annual Songkran Festival to ensure local and international travellers enjoy a more ‘authentic experience’ and get the chance to ‘discover more amazing stories of Thainess while joining the celebrations for Thai New Year in the kingdom. This year’s festivities began with the “Songkran Splendours: The Procession of Three Kingdoms” grand opening ceremony, which took place yesterday (10 April, 2016).

Deputy Prime Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn said, “Songkran is the holiday that unites the nation in a spirit of fun and devotion to the family. The New Year rituals are observed differently in all parts of the nation, and this variety is something that should be celebrated and showcased. The Royal Thai Government is dedicated to preserving all aspects of the nation’s culture in every region, as it is the source of our strength, character and national pride. While we are enjoying the fun of the festivities, we should remember that this is a vital part of our heritage and deserves our pride and protection so that future generations can enjoy it in the same spirit.”

Songkran or the Thai New Year has been celebrated in the kingdom for hundreds of years. Traditionally this was the time when agricultural work could come to a halt for a few days, so that the Thai people could pay respect to their ancestors and senior members of the family by sprinkling their hands with scented water. It is also a time to enter the temples and bathe the sacred Buddha images. As Songkran is a time when families come together and the country is unified for several days of fun and togetherness, the Royal Thai Government wants to ensure these traditions are preserved. One way of doing this is by promoting the festival internationally, so that other countries can enjoy this unique time of year and come to join the celebrations.

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