Thailand Festivals Early In The Year
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There are a lot of Thailand festivals throughout the year. Below are just a few of them that appear early in the year. If you need accommodation when visiting Thailand, please ensure you go to our Thailand accommodation site.
Gem and Jewellery Fair
A Department of Export creation. Trade shows are held in large Bangkok hotels. If you are in the trade, or just want some sort of guarantee of buying a genuine article, this is useful.
Phanom Rung (Last week of the month)
Takes place mostly in a well-restored Khmer temple complex in Burinam Province. With its procession up Phanom hill and impressive sound and light shows, it is a kin to the Phra Nakhon festival.
Chakri Day (6 April)
Commemorates the founding of the Chakri dynasty in 17 BC . Public holiday.
Songkran/Thai New Yea r (13-1 5 April)
This is a mixture of the religious and the secular and considered a time for excessive fun by the Thais, although the foreigner might get fed up with the constant throwing of water. The religious part consists in bathing Buddha images in the main temples (many Thais consider it good luck to do this in nine temples, although some pay children to do it on their behalf) or when they are taken out for a tio, receiving blessings from the monks, and releasing fish or birds or other animals into nature (carrying away any bad luck of the last year).
At the height of the hot season, Songkran certainly helps you cool off. However, the gentle water-blessings of the past have now given rise to water battles, often by compering pick-up trucks.
Things go on for much too long in chiang Mai, where the population is not only swollen by Chiang Mai people returning from work elsewhere but by many visitors from Bangkok, who drink to excess and find it fun to throw icy water full blast in your face-without taking out the chunks of ice first. Many foreigners confuse the Thai words Songkran (with an 'n') and songkram (with an 'm'), since final consonants are barely pronounced.
An alternative is to say the easier pi may (New Year). For once, their confusion is understandable. Even the Thais in Chiang Mai are retreating indoors with colds near the end of festivities. Sometimes, the Thais admit, you can have too much of a good thing.
International Labour Day (May 1)
Coronation Day (5 May)The king presides at a ceremony at Wat Phra Kaew.
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