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, which 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 where tourists can pour water onto Buddha statues in the traditional style.
Mr. 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 7-19, April, 2014 at the following locations:
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Also at Si Satchanalai Historical Park, on 7 April, 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.
Sawankhalok Songkran and Food Festival
Sukhothai Historical Park
Thung Thalae Luang
Chalermprakiat Park by the bank of the Yom River
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 13 April).
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
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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