A group of Filipinos along with Thais playing bubbles on the last day of Songkran Festival at Central World, Bangkok.

470,000 tourists join Thailand’s 2015 Songkran celebration

BANGKOK – Swarmed by tourists and highlighted by different fun-filled activities, the Kingdom of Thailand celebrated its annual five-day water festival known as Songkran all over the country, April 9-13, 2015.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said more than 470,000 tourists visited the country. He stressed that the number of tourist arrivals increased by 39 percent compared with the same period last year.

PM Prayut also praised everyone for working together to act as good hosts in welcoming the visitors. “Kind and friendly hospitality, as well as beautiful culture, are the main charms that attract visitors,” deputy government spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said in a briefing.

Songkran festival is from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 of April. Often referred to as the “world’s biggest water fight”, revelers splash water on each other during the said celebration.

The traditional water pouring is meant as a symbol of washing away all of their sins, and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner.

It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.