Thursday, February 22, 2007

Songkran Festival (Thai New year) in Bangkok 2007

Songkran Festival (Thai New year)Songkran Festival is celebrated throughout Thailand, Myanmar and Laos and marks the Buddhist New Year. Traditionally, it was centered on the temple, with merit-making and the giving of alms to monks, the washing of Buddha images and the building of sand castles on the temple grounds. But today, Songkran is celebrated in the streets with exuberant water fights, complete with water pistols, hoses and the like. In Bangkok, the area around Khao San Road in Banglampoo gets particularly wet and wild and no one stays dry.

Songkran Festival (Thai New year) in Bangkok 2007Bangkok is at its quietest at Songkran Festival, as many of the revelers have gone back to their upcountry homes for the long holidays. The roads are remarkably traffic-free. Most of the action in the city is concentrated at places like Khao San Road, a traditional hangout for young backpackers, which turns into a free-fire water-sloshing zone for the duration of the holidays. More traditional celebrations are held near the Grand Palace, with bathing of the sacred Phra Buddha Sihing image. A Miss Songkran contest is held in the Wisutkasat area, accompanied by merit making, fun and entertainment.

The traditional Thai New Year is celebrated city wide, most notably at Sanam Luang, fronting the Grand Palace, where the revered Phra Buddha Sihing image is displayed and bathed by devotees, and at Wisutkasat, where a Miss Songkran beauty contest is accompanied by merit-making, paying respect to elders and numerous forms of entertainment, including high-spirited water throwing.

Bangkok Hotels nearby...

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