Songkran Festivities in the North



Songkran Festivities in the North

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Celebrated nationwide, but most exuberantly in and around Chiang Mai, Songkran is one of Thailand’s major festivals. Held over three days from April 12th–14th (though celebrations carry on until the 15th in towns such as Chiang Mai), Songkran marks the start of the Buddhist New Year. This public holiday has, over the centuries, evolved from a purely religious event, in which Buddha images are bathed with water to purify them, into a much greater celebration of water in the hot season. Nowadays, buckets of water are thrown over everyone in the streets (unsuspecting tourists make the best targets). Some of Songkran’s original customs, such as younger Thais paying respect to their elders and monks by sprinkling their hands with perfumed water, are also maintained.

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