Songkran Grand Opening Ceremony 2016

 

Songkran Festival Grand Opening Ceremony 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand

 

Songkran is one of Thailand’s best known and most loved festivals and each year thousands upon thousands of visitors descend on Thailand to join in the fun and festivities. To help people understand the true spirit of Songkran, Thai authorities arranged a grand opening ceremony to not only kick-start festivities in spectacular fashion, but to educate people, both local and visitors alike, about the history and traditions behind the centuries old festival that has since become synonymous with Thai culture and heritage.
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Songkran Splendours: The Procession of Three Kingdoms

The theme of the grand opening ceremony was ‘Songkran Splendours: The Procession of Three Kingdoms’ and visitors in attendance witnessed magnificent parades that helped tell some of the stories, legends and history behind the Songkran festival by looking at how it has evolved through the reigns of three of Thailand’s most important kings. The first procession ‘The Kingdom of Rama III will look at Songkran during the reign of Rama III, and includes displays from Thai mythology as depicted on the walls of Wat Po temple. The second procession ‘The Kingdom of Rama V’ focussed on how Songkran is celebrated here in Thailand whilst he final procession ‘The Kingdom of Rama VII explored how Songkran celebrations have spread around the world.
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Songkran on Five Regions in Thailand

Though Songkran is celebrated throughout the Kingdom, the way it is celebrated differs from region to region and to highlight these subtle, yet important differences, a parade of Thailand’s five main regions followed the ‘Procession of the Three Kingdoms’, to highlight the variety of ways that the Thai people choose to mark their most important holiday.

Lampang, Thailand

Representing the North was Lampang’s Salung Luang known for its ritual of parading sacred Buddha images around the streets to bring blessings to the people.

Loei, Thailand

A procession of ‘Dok Mai’ trees from Loei represented the Northeast.

Ratchaburi, Thailand

The Central Region sent a Thai-Mon cultural procession to celebrate the ancient cultures and traditions of the Mon people in Thailand.

Chonburi, Thailand

A parade of Si Maharaja Rice Stacks from Chon Buri province joined the Eastern region’s contingent.

Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

Finally, for the south, was a Nang Dan procession from Nakhon Si Thammarat which celebrates the three main gods of the Hindu pantheon.
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True Spirit of Songkran Festival

Songkran really is a time when families come together and the country is unified for several days of fun and togetherness. Though water is an integral part of the festivities, at its heart the festival is about more than one big water fight. It is about renewal and starting afresh, with a clean slate and a pure soul. The opening ceremony served as an excellent reminder of this and was a wonderful way to officially kick off Thailand’s most important national holiday.

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