Tuesday, September 17, 2019

So much to see in upcountry Songkran festivities

Apr 12. 2017
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By The Nation

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You can spend “Songkran in the Ancient Capital” at the Ayutthaya Historical Park tomorrow through Saturday (April 13-15), where elephants with trunk-loads of water are sure to get you in the mood.

The Unesco World Heritage site is welcoming Songkran celebrants with a chance to be doused by elephants along the road in front of the local Tourism Authority office. 

Other planned activities include the ritual pouring of water over sacred Buddha images, a bit of fun building sand pagodas, and the always enjoyable pastime of watching traditional dancing. 

Call the office at (035) 246 076-7.

Meanwhile Wat Thong Bo in Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in sub-district offers a “Mon Songkran” on Friday (April 14). Visitors can give food to the monks and watch the main pagoda being covered in a sacred fabric. The Mon also bathe Buddha statues using long bamboo pipes. 

Muang Suphan Buri will celebrate “Songkran Splendors” on Thursday and Friday, with a golden likeness of Luang Poh Toh carried in procession, 10 different ethnic groups performing and a Miss Songkran pageant, plus music concerts. Call the TAT office there at (035) 258 80.

Phra Pradaeng City Hall in Samut Prakan welcomes the New Year from April 21 to 23 with a spectacular floral procession, Mon people in colourful costumes, a Miss Songkran parade and a Mister and Miss Songkran Beauty Contest. You can make merit at a temple and pay your respects to community elders as well. Call the municipal office at (024) 63 4841.

Wat Nongprue in Kanchanaburi hosts the annual Wax Candle Procession and other activities that accord with local Buddhist beliefs, plus merit making, pouring of water over the hands of local elders and an exhibition on the candle procession. The TAT office there is (034) 51 1200.

“Songkran in Sangkhla Buri” takes place at that Kanchanaburi district’s Wat Wang Wiwekaram and Budhagaya Stupa from April 13 to 17. The Mon populace shows respect to monks by creating a human bridge for them into the temple grounds and later carrying them on their backs to their dwellings. 

The bathing of Buddha images is done differently too, with the water delivered via long bamboo pipes.

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