The Songkran Festival
Partake in a nation-wide water fight this April at the Songkran Festival in Bangkok. To revitalize and renew, Thai residents cleanse everything from the Buddha belly to an innocent passer-by with water. The festival commemorates the beginning of the Thai New Year with a splash.
The Songkran Festival, better known as the Water Festival, is a Thai National Holiday that has evolved from a gentle washing of the elders to a national, no-mercy water fight. Those traveling to Bangkok during this time hold two options: stay dry in their hotel rooms or join in on the splashing and spraying that compose this notorious Thai festival.
Although the festival has recreational purposes, the celebration originates from a commemoration of Buddha. Many Thai people visit a Buhhist temple during this time to give alms and clean the Buddha images displayed throughout the temple. In Bangkok, a similar celebration will occur at the Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace.
Other age-old traditions include the releasing of live birds and fish at a local river. Typically, many eligible young men from around Bangkok attend this event to find their future wives. However, not everyone’s intentions surround betrothal. Beauty pageants and food fairs are also customary during the festival and many attend to participate in a cultural phenomenon.
Anyone interested participating in the water-fights need not look any further than their front door. Sporadic water fights break out throughout the city of Bangkok at random. So dress for the occasion, bring your ammunition and water guns, and prepare to get soaked.
What: The Songkran Festival
Where: Various locations throughout Bangkok
When: April 13-15, 2012
Recommended Hotel: Baiyoke Sky Hotel
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