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Thailand gets 'ready' for Songkran festivities

This year's three-week-long Songkran festival with festivities to take place across the country is expected to give tourism a much-needed boost as it is expected to bring in tens of billions of baht in tourism income.

The government and the private sector are planning to organise a host of Songkran Festival activities nationwide, particularly in major tourist destinations, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya, from April 1 to 21 after Unesco recently included the traditional Thai New Year festival on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.

Songkran in Pattaya is unlike anywhere else in Thailand. The famous water festival is taken to extremes and the whole city becomes not so much one giant water fight as a week-long pitched battle! The gentle origins of this traditional celebration are mostly lost amongst the buckets of ice water, high-pressure soakers and foam parties on Beach Road.

While the Songkran holiday only officially lasts for three days (11th - 13th April), Pattaya's party atmosphere means that you are likely to get a thorough soaking as much as a week beforehand and several days after. Some of the city's expatriates, who have had their best office togs doused in freezing cold water once too often, choose to take the week off and escape to Koh Samet or other nearby havens while many others stock up on supplies and barricade themselves indoors. However, many more stick around for the best all-day wet and wild party in Thailand. If you like fun and hijinks, there is no better place to be in mid-April.

Along with the Songkran Festival, which is going to take place all month long throughout the country, April is also vibrant with many other festivals and events, as follows:

– Poi Sang Long Novice Ordination Tradition 2024, from 5 to 7 April, at Wat Klang Thung, Mae Hong Son Province;

– Phanom Rung Light Phenomenon (Sunrise), from 5 to 7 April, at Phanom Rung Historical Park, Buri Ram;

– Amazing Chiang Mai Light Up at Wiang Kum Kam, from 6 to 8 April, at Wiang Kum Kam Ancient City in Wat Chedi Liam, Chiang Mai;

– Nang Yai Wat Khanon, from 13 to 14 April, at Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi;

– Hae Ton Dokmai Festival, on 14 April, at Wat Si Pho Chai, Loei.

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