The village of Na Haeo in Loei province celebrates the Thai New Year with a spectacular “Tree of Light” ceremony that runs from April 13 to 16.
The village of Na Haeo in Loei province celebrates the Thai New Year with a spectacular “Tree of Light” ceremony that runs from April 13 to 16. This annual rite will take place at Wat Sriphonchai where the locals offer the illuminated tree made of bamboo. Monk bathing, folk music and a series of old-fashioned games add to the festivities.
A testament to faith
Wat Wang Wiwekaram in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, will be celebrating Songkran from April 12 to 17. As distinctive as it is unique, the festival show men’s strong commitment to their Buddhist faith as hundreds of them lay down on the ground to form a “human bridge” on which the monks walk on their way to the purifying area. Tucked away on the border between Myanmar and Thailand, the temple is the centre of the Mon community in Sangkhlaburi. Expect Mon cultural shows and eating opportunities during the festival.
Four nations, one celebration
Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai province, will play host for “Four Nations Songkran Festival” on the bank of Mekong River from April 13 to 15. The three festive days feature a wealth of cultural shows and entertainment contributed by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. The highlights are the dragon boat race on the Mekong River and the colourful flower floats and procession from all four countries.
Culture in the park
Bangkok’s Khao San Road is once again set to draw tourists for its “wild and wet” party marking the Songkran Festival. Nagaphirom Park, a short walk from Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, goes the other way offering residents and visitors a chance to celebrate a traditional Songkran with lots of cultural shows including traditional plays and puppet performances plus an old-fashioned market. The official opening takes place on Sunday at 4pm with the “Songkran Princes” procession making its way from Ratchdamneon Klang Road to the park. The event runs through April 15.