The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced the official opening ceremony of its “Grand Songkran Splendours 2014” which will see fun and family-friendly activities arranged for locals and visitors alike, up and down the Kingdom of Thailand from 11-20 April, 2014.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “The Songkran Festival is one of the most joyous and meaningful celebrations for the Thai people and one that goes back many hundreds of years. We would like to share the fun by encouraging tourists, both local and international, to join in the celebrations of the world’s most unique water festival.
“This year the theme is Songkran Splendours 2014 and once again, it should be a joyous nationwide event. We expect that many thousands of people will come to join the party, which as always, is unlike anything that can be found anywhere else in the world.”
This year, TAT will be joining with various provincial authorities to organise and host Songkran Splendours activities in 12 major provinces of the four Thai regions. These will include Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Chon Buri, and Samut Prakan in the Central region; Chiang Mai and Sukhothai in the North; Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, and Nong Khai in the Northeast; and Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phuket in the South.
The theme of this year’s Grand Songkran celebrations was chosen to reflect the traditional beliefs that the element of water is imbued with near miraculous qualities. Water, after all, is life and during Songkran, helps to unite families and bring friends together.
According to traditional Thai beliefs, water is a symbol of purity, prosperity and happiness, and has always played a vital symbolic role in day-to-day Thai living down the generations – be it at weddings, funerals and even temple ceremonies.
While the media tends to focus on the good-natured water play of the Songkran Festival, there is actually a deeper meaning behind the fun. At this time of year, water is used to pay homage to Buddha images and also brings families together who travel long distances to spend time with each other. The fun of the Festival also helps strengthen friendships, no matter what your religious persuasion, age or race. Little wonder that this, the longest holiday of the Thai year, is also the most anticipated and enjoyed.