Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The best places to celebrate the Songkran Festival 2014 in Sukothai, Thailand



The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising the Thai New Year (Songkran) Festival 2014 in seven major destinations across Sukhothai province, traditionally the homeland of Songkran Festival.

The Songkran Festival was first celebrated over 700 years ago.

To help everyone understand the ancient traditions of the Songkran Festival, TAT has organised special booths to be opened during the water festival. At these booths, tourists will be able to pour water onto Buddha statues in the traditional style.

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GET INTERACTIVE 
WITH THE SONGKRAN FESTIVAL

Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of TAT said, “All tourists, Thai and foreigners, are encouraged to share their fun times by signing into Facebook for interactive activities and to upload their Songkran photos. This can be done by visiting www.facebook.com/tatsukhothaifanpage and the best pictures will get special rewards from TAT.” 

This year Songkran celebrations in Sukhothai will take place from April 7 to 19, 2014 at the following locations.

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SI SATCHANALAI HISTORICAL PARK 

April 7

This will include a unique event will take place when members of the Thai Puan ethnic group of Ban Hat Sieo organise a colourful parade that culminates in an elephant ordination ceremony.

The spectacular procession features elephants dressed up in adornments that evoke the culture of the Thai Puan. This tradition stretches back over 150 years and is unique to the ethnic group who originated in the Sukhothai area.



April 8-12

Join in with the ancient Sukhothai tradition of playing with water and merit making. There will be a ceremony to pay respects to Phraya Li Thai, the founder of the Sukhothai Kingdom.

The five-day event will also feature a food festival, music, cultural and traditional performances.


SAWANKHALOK SONGKRAN & FOOD FESTIVAL 
April 11-15



The celebration will take place on the banks of the Yom River, in front of Wat Sawang Arom Woraviharn in Sawankhalok district.

Local people come here to pay their respects to Phra Phuttha Ruengrith, the sacred Buddha statue of the Sawankalok people. Various tasty, local foodstuffs will be available to enjoy throughout the event.



SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK 
April 12 - 14

In the UNESCO Historical Park, visitors can join in with a sand pagoda building competition and enjoy a Songkran beauty contest, an ancient cartwheel procession, as well as local sports competitions and folk plays throughout the three-day event.

THUNG THALAE LUANG 
April 12 - 14

Songkran at Thung Thalae Luang will feature a special tunnel of sacred water sprayed up in arches. Those walking underneath will be blessed with good fortune for the Thai New Year.

Visitors are invited to pay their respects to Phra Phuttha Rattanasiri Sukhothai, a Buddha image that has been regarded sacred since the Sukhothai era. They also get the chance to join the fun of splashing water over the course of the festival.



CHALERMPRAKIAT PARK 
by the bank of the Yom River
April 12-14

At Chalermprakiat Park, visitors can enjoy the usual sand-pagoda building activities and join in with the locals to pay respect to the sacred Buddha image of Wat Thai Chomphon.

There will also be a Songkran Kids talent competition and a beauty contest (on April 12).

In addition, visitors will enjoy a colourful parade and a cultural procession that tells the story of the origins of Songkran and experience the religious aspects of the Thai New Year by joining the bathing of local Buddhist monks and pay tribute to the Mae Ya image (on April 13).

Over the course of the three-day event, there will be some lively Songkran water fun during which revelers get the chance to enter a decorative T-shirt competition, enjoy some traditional folk dancing and see music concerts.



BATHING CHAO MUEN DONG CEREMONY
April 17-19

In Si Satchanalai district, there will be a sacred ceremony to venerate the image of Chao Muen Dong at Ban Tuek. The event features folk plays and an elephants’ parade in which the majestic beasts will themselves pay homage to the Chao Muen Dong image.

Visitors to Ban Tuek will also be able to see the elephants get a health check-up and see a unique Muay Thai dance performance where the skilled performers use their exquisite movements to show respects to Chao Muen Dong.


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