Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Songkran Festival

Today marks the beginning of the Songkran Festival ( Thai New Year ). This festival is also celebrated in Cambodia and Laos. To all those who celebrate, i wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR.

In Bangkok, after the bloody protest last Saturday, almost all official celebrations for this festival have been cancelled.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) decided to carry on with just one of its planned events - bringing out the Phra Buddha Sihing for people to pay respect and ask for blessings.

Phra Buddha Sihing is one of the most sacred Buddha statues in the country. Thais have worshipped this statue since the Sukhothai period.

Phra Buddha Sihing is usually enshrined in the Buddhaisawan Throne Hall, which is now inside the national museum. However for this festival, the statue will be enshrined in front of BMA headguarters till this Thursday.

For the Songkran celebrations in Bangkok, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has also promoted a tour to nine temples.

In recent years, khao san Road has been a major hub for Songkran revellers in Bangkok. However, with the tourist strip being so close to the scene of bloody clashes on Saturday night, business operators have decided not to hold any Songkran celebration this year but tourists and the locals were still out splashing water on each other and passersby.

Tourists enjoying Songkran Festival in the tourist hub, Khao San area.

Elephants are also enjoying the festival ( not in Bangkok ) , spraying water from their trunks at passersbye.

The Reds take a break today to celebrate Thai New Year. They celebrate within their areas.

Giving alms to monks in the morning of Thai New Year.

Red protesters pour water on Buddha statues during the celebration of Songkran Festival

Last Saturday some of the protesters used real guns but today, everyone uses water guns

New Red bras for the ladies of the Reds during the new year.

For some of the Reds sleeping is more important that celebrating Songkran. Many sleep in the open and even in front of shopping malls


karl said...

hope it's not so dangerous there now as i'll be on holiday to bangkok on may.. weee