April 13th – 15th 2013 marks the traditional Thai New Year known as the Songkran Festival.  This is the time when most Thais return to their hometown if possible to be with their families and loved ones, and to pay respects to their elderly relatives in order to be blessed by them.  Songkran festival is also marked by splashing of water everywhere – in the streets, shopping malls, public parks as a symbol of well-wishing.  The Songkran tradition began centuries ago and is celebrated in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos (Songkan) and Myanmar (Thingyan).  The several-day celebration was once determined by the lunar calendar, but now regularly begins on April 12 or 13.

The event’s festivities stem from Buddhist roots and vary and vary from country to country. The most common ritual involves large crowds of people dousing one another with water. Other customs include lighting candles and incense at Buddhist shrines, making charitable contributions to the poor and cleansing icons of the Buddha.

Songkran is a time for giving, loving and cherishing those who mean the world to us.  It is a time to preserve the culture and traditions on the Thai New Year for future generations to admire.

If you want to see what’s going on for Songkran events across the world then take a look on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Songkran there are sure to be some interesting photographs and comments

Celebrated during 9-21 April The Bangkok Grand Songkran Festival looks sure to be fun

For more details about Songrkan see tourismthailand.org

Tips for surviving Songkran including :

  • Putting phones & wallets in ziploc waterproof bags
  • Keeping sunglasses on and your mouth closed
  • Carrying a water gun to soak others
  • Wearing appropriate clothes which don’t become transparent when wet and finally
  • be prepared to laugh and have fun – sound advice indeed

Meanwhile if you are in Thailand and looking to cool down in a more pleasurable way than being splashed by water,  Ice-cream treats could be for you – the Thai airlines magazine Sawasdee highlights interesting ice-cream options including Thai Crepes from IceDEA , Boutique ice-cream flavours such as pomegranate or sesame from LittleHappiness in Chang Rai, Kiintim are offering ice lolly deserts such as red tea ice-cream, and mango sticky rice whilst iberry are making tropical fruit ice-cream including mangosteen, rambutan, passionfruit and rose apple

In Dubai Songkran was celebrated at the Thai Embassy over the weekend and various hotels within the region are hosting Songkran dinners.  I will be tasting my way through a Songkran menu which has been paired with wines at SukhoThai at Le Meridien Hotel in Dubai.  Since I’ve returned from Thailand 80% of my dinners have been thai inspired so I’m looking forward to seeing what Thai food and paired wine treats Chef Pradit Klom King of Sukhothai and Chief Sommelier Carlo Tinelli have prepared for this celebration.offer wine aficionados a royal treat.

Credits : Sawasdee magazine

Celebrating Songkran at Le Meridien Hotel in Sukho Thai restaurant

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