Thai version of Christmas
The land of the Thais flourishes with festivity between April 13th and 15th when its citizens get together to enjoy the season of fun. The merriment goes on for about a week even though the national holiday lasts only three days (from April 13 to 15). Day two of the festival starts early in the morning with almsgivings for the monks after which rituals which include bathing Buddha statues with scented water, are performed; this is followed by a host of other religious activities. During this period, the streets are marked with water fights here and there, dotted with street parties. Water fights are encouraged as they are seen as symbolising the rinsing away of misfortunes from the body. Another custom among Thais during the Songkran is pouring scented water on to an elder’s palms as a respect. Typically Asian, this custom is meant to seek forgiveness from the elders.
The locals capitalise on Songkran to have family reunions, and you can do the same by travelling to Thailand with your family during this period. However, a lot of tourists travel to the country around this time of year, so make sure to make an early reservation at your accommodation of choice in Bangkok city. Hotel rooms are usually quite hard to get during this season unless you book in advance. When deciding on where to stay, keep in mind that some hotels such as Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok among several others, conveniently celebrate the festival inside their premises, for the benefit of their guests.
If you plan on travelling to Thailand during this period, expect most shops and offices to be closed during this time as almost all employees are given leave to head home and celebrate this festival with their families. During this period, therefore, Bangkok is teeming with more foreigners than locals, as many Thais have left for their hometowns.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+