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Thai water festival Songkran marking the Thai New Year starts to day 13th April and lasts for three days.  The Thai people believe that Water will wash away bad luck, and the festival has become known throughout the world as the time when visitors and locals alike are very likely to get well and truly soaked with buckets of water water pistols and even garden hoses turned on passers by in a frenzy of well meaning fun.

The traditional festivities pay tribute to the role of water in Thai culture and society.  Now a far cry from the traditional custom which involved sprinkling a small amount of water over the hands of elders as they bless you for the new year, today the streets of Thailand are filled with partying revellers in colourful floral shirts armed with super soakers!

Thai
Thai

This year drought-hit Thailand has urged participants to use spray bottles for Songkran to save water.  There will be a number of large organised events around the country including:

  • Khao San Road, Bangkok, 13-15 April 2016, 10.00-23.00 hrs.
  • Silom Road, Bangkok, 13-15 April 2016, 10.00-00.00 hrs.
  • Around the City Moat, Chiang Mai, 11-16 April 2016, hrs.
  • Pattaya (North, Central and South Beach), Lan Bodhi Park Na Kluea and Chon Buri, 11-20 April 2016, hrs.
  • Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen, 13-15 April 2016, 10.00-20.30 hrs.
  • Patong Beach, Phuket, 12-13 April 2016, 10.00-22.00 hrs.
  • Hat Yai Midnight Songkran at Nipat Uthit 3 Road, Sanehanusorn Road and Wat Mahatta, 11-15 April 2016, 10.00-23.00 hrs.
  • Songkran Ko Samui (Chaweng Beach), 13 April 2016, hrs.

Here are some of the other most interesting locations for foreign visitors:

Bangkok:

  • Songkran Wisutkasat: Get soaked at Wisutkasat (Bang Khun Phrom intersection), under the Rama 8 bridge, 13-15 April.
  • Banglamphu: Join Bangkok’s young people in traditional Thai attire and enjoy merit making and cultural performances at Suan Santi Chaiprakarn, Phra Athit Road, 13-15 April.
  • Lan Khon Mueang: Merit making and fun in front of Bangkok City Hall, 13-15 April.

The North

  • Songkran ‘Song Nam Oi Tan’ in Sri Satchanalai, Sukhothai: Beauty contests, a vibrant parade and cultural activities at Phraya Li Thai Monument and Si Satchanalai Historical Park, 8-12 April, 2016.

The Central, Eastern and Western regions

  • Sand pagoda ceremony on Lai Day, Bang Saen District, Chon Buri: Cultural activities, including sand sculpture contests along Bangsaen beach, 16-17 April.
  • Songkran in the ancient capital city, Ayutthaya: Probably Thailand’s most unique Songkran celebration with elephants joining the fun! In front of TAT Ayutthaya Office, 13-15 April.
  • Songkran in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi: A traditional Mon-style Songkran celebration which differs greatly from those elsewhere, at Wat Wangwiwekaram, 13-18 April.
  • Songkran in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan: Meet the locals, mostly ethnic Mon, resplendent in traditional outfits. Make merit, join a colourful parade and take part in fun activities in front of the Phra Pradaeng district office, 18-20 April.
  • Songkran Splendours, Suphan Buri 2016: A colourful Songkran procession from 10 districts, beauty contests and concerts, in front of Suphanburi Bus Station, 12-14 April.

The Northeast

  • Pleasant Songkran, Thai-Lao’ New Year, Nakhon Phanom: The joint Thai-Lao Songkran festival showcases the cultures of seven different ethnic groups in Nakhon Phanom province. Join in merit making by offering sticky rice to the monks, by Kankrao market, 12-15 April.
  • Songkran in Renu District, Nakhon Phanom: Watch the famous traditional dance called ‘Ram Phu Tai’, together with a magical ‘Bai Sri’ ceremony where locals welcome visitors by tying a small string on their wrists, 12-15 April
  • Thailand-Laos Friendship Songkran, Nong Khai: Get a sense of history at the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, water the Luang Por Phra Sai, the highly-revered Buddha image of the Nong Khai people and experience a merit-making ceremony at Wat Pho Chai, Nong Prachak Road, 10-18 April.

The South

  • Songkran ‘Nang Dan’ Parade, Nakhon Sri Thammarat: Watch the spectacular Nang Dan cultural procession, join the locals in paying homage to Phra Maha That Chadi Nakhon Si Thammarat, and purify the Phra Buddha Sihing at Suan Si Thammasokarat and Hor Phra Shiva, 12-14 April.

In case you are thinking of attending the worlds biggest water fight, nudity in Thai culture is frowned upon and Thai police regard nipples of all genders equally obscene so keep yourself covered!

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