The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hosting “Amazing Songkran 2022 Celebrations” at 10 temples in Bangkok and the “Songkran Music Heritage Festival 2022” in Ayutthaya and Songkhla. It is also supporting other Songkran festivities in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Samut Prakan.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said this move comes after the government gave the go-ahead to Songkran 2022 festivities under universal prevention and Covid-free setting guidelines.
“This year, all Songkran festivities hosted or supported by TAT will take place in line with universal prevention guidelines against Covid-19,” he said.
“All participants are asked to strictly follow these rules at all times, which include being fully vaccinated with an approved Covid-19 vaccine, or showing a negative test result using an antigen test kit of no more than 72 hours.”
He also warned that the government has prohibited water splashing, powder smearing and foam parties in public areas.
“The sale and consumption of alcohol are also prohibited at the event’s location,” he added.
‘Amazing Songkran 2022 Celebrations’ April 9-17 at 10 temples in Bangkok
TAT has scheduled rituals that honour centuries-old origins and traditions of the Thai New Year at 10 temples in Bangkok’s old quarters, namely Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Rakang, Wat Suthat, Wat Kalayanamit, Wat Prayun, Wat Ratchanatdaram, Wat Mahathat, Wat Saket and Wat Ratchabophit.
Throughout the nine days, visitors are invited to mark the first step into the Thai New Year by making water offerings to Buddha and capturing the moment at a special photo corner and augmented reality (AR) spot, as well as enjoy lucky draws and collect souvenirs.
Particularly from April 13 to 15, TAT has arranged special festivities at Wat Saket and Wat Ratchabophit, including traditional culture and performances, such as Khon masked dance, Thai-style antiphon singing, and Thai puppet show, as well as demonstrations of authentic Thai dessert making and fruit carving.
‘Songkran Music Heritage Festival 2022’ from April 12-21 in Ayutthaya and Songkhla
Ayutthaya’s Wat Phra Ram and Songkhla’s old town will serve as venues for the “Songkran Music Heritage 2022” to enhance local and international awareness of both locations’ historical and cultural significance.
At Ayutthaya’s Wat Phra Ram, TAT has arranged a host of age-old rituals and celebrations, including the Song Nam Phra activity, making Chedi Sai or sand stupa, demonstrations of handicraft products unique to the province, such as weaving Pla-Ta-Pian fish mobiles (symbol of good health and prosperity), and traditional cultures and performances, such as Khon masked dance and Likay Thai opera theatre.
There will also be a fair selling handicrafts and the famous cuisine of Ayutthaya and nearly provinces.
The temple itself will be decorated in a traditional vibe of Songkran and will be featuring photo spots with visual idea decorations highlighting the province’s two unique symbols – elephant and Pla-Ta-Pian fish – in creatively different shapes and forms. Nearby archaeological ruins will be brightly illuminated.
In Songkhla’s old town, TAT has also arranged a host of age-old rituals and celebrations, including the Song Nam Phra activity, making Chedi Sai, demonstrations of famous cuisine of the province, such as Khao Yam or spicy rice salad, and traditional performances, such as Nora dance drama.
There will also be a mapping story presented by “Nong Mila”, the mermaid mascot specially created for the event to honour Songkhla’s most photographed tourist attraction – the Golden Mermaid statue on Samila Beach.
Here too, there will be a fair selling handicrafts and the famous cuisine of Songkhla and nearby provinces.
Songkhla’s old town, which is dotted with colourful Sino-Portuguese style houses, will also be brightly lit and decorated in a traditional vibe of Songkran with a twist, reflecting the city’s former glory as the commercial trading centre of Southern Thailand.
Meanwhile, the specially-created landmark for photo-taking opportunities will feature the famous handwoven fabric of Ko Yo.
Particularly during the three-day holiday, from April 13 to 15, TAT has scheduled music concerts featuring famous Thai bands and singers at both locations in Ayutthaya and in Songkhla.
‘The Iconic Songkran Festival 2022’ from April 8-17 at IconSiam, Bangkok.
Key festivities will focus on the traditional and cultural aspects of Songkran, including Song Nam Phra and Rot Nam Dam Hua – a ritual to pay respect to the elders, family-focused activities, kite displays, merit-making activities, and a replica of a Thai temple fair.
‘Water Festival’ by Thai Beverage Plc (ThaiBev) in various Thai cities
• April 13-15: Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Prayun, Wat Kalayanamit, Wat Rakang, Maharaj Pier, Lhong 1919, SookSiam at IconSiam, Asiatique the Riverfront in Bangkok. The festival will be held at Lanna Ancient House and Charoen Prathet Road in Chiang Mai as well.
• April 13: Inthayongyos Road, Lamphun.
• April 13-14: Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in Udon Thani and Wat Chaisi in Khon Kaen.
• April 11-12: Phuket’s old town.
‘Nam Thip Pi Mai Muang Chiang Mai’ from April 12-16 in Chiang Mai
This age-old ceremony of creating “Nam Thip” or “lustral water” was first reintroduced by TAT last year using water from three sacred water sources at Wat Buppharam, Doi Angkhang or Doi Inthanon, and the Ping River, which were part of the 108 sacred water sources obtained for the Coronation of King Rama X.
This year, the ritual will be held once again to mark the 726th anniversary of Chiang Mai on April 12 and will be using water from the three sacred water sources and six additional sources at Wat Pha Lat, Wat Pa Dat, Wat Dap Pai, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Tharathip Chai Pradit, and Wat Phut En.
This year, a total of 10,726 bottles of “lustral water” will be given to visitors to Chiang Mai from April 12-16 at 10 distribution locations via advance registration.
Visitors are also encouraged to visit these temples which boast magnificent Lanna architecture.
Phra Pradeang Songkran Festival 2022 from April 22-24 in Samut Prakan
Taking place at the Phra Pradaeng City Hall, this remains one of Thailand’s most fascinating ways to celebrate Songkran.
Phra Pradaeng is where local people observe Mon traditional Mon ceremonies and their New Year traditions are very different to those found in the rest of the country.
For a start, the celebrations here take place a little later and feature a range of cultural activities, including a spectacular floral procession, a parade of local Mon people in their colourful traditional outfits, a Miss Songkran parade, and a Mister and Miss Songkran Beauty Contest.
Visitors will also have the chance to join merit-making activities in the local temples, pay respect to community elders, and enjoy folk plays and cultural performances, as well as enjoy the famous cuisine of Phra Pradaeng.
Source: The Nation