Bangkok prepares for annual Songkran Fest

11 Apr 2011

Thailand’s capital city is getting ready to usher in the traditional Lanna New Year, which is called Songkran. This exciting festival begins on Wednesday 13 April and continues for four days.

Although Songkran is steeped in legend and originated as a religious and cultural festival to honour the Lord Buddha and pay respects to more senior people in society, the main attraction of it in recent times are the water fights that take place in most major towns and cities in the country.

Water fights offer residents and tourists the chance of cooling down at the hottest time of the year when temperatures hover around the 35°C with humidity of 60 per cent. The water splashing and aiming of water guns takes place in most parts of Bangkok, but for foreign tourists the main venues are the backpacker area centred on Kao San Road and Silom Road in the entertainment precinct.

As the occasion is a four-day national holiday many residents of Bangkok head out of the city to beach resorts and the northern provinces. This leaves the capital’s roads relatively free of traffic, allowing revellers to enjoy the water battles.

Visitors to Bangkok’s colourful temples are offered a chance of witnessing the cultural aspects of Songkran when Bangkokians pour scented waters on effigies of Buddha and sand pagodas are built in the temple compounds. Early risers may espy saffron-robed monks on Bangkok streets collecting alms, which Buddhists believe help them to make merit towards their own nirvana. 

Tags: Bangkok Songkran

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