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Wet and wild …

April 12, 2010

The Thai New Year is upon us and it’s hotter than hell, so hit the streets and cool down the traditional way with buckets of icy water..

Starting today and running all the way through to next Sunday, Thailand is celebrating the Songkran festival. From Bangkok to Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai to Hat Yai, millions of us  Thai, Mon and Chinese  are taking to the streets, as well as to the temple, to celebrate Songkran and mark the lunar New Year.

TONIGHT’S the night for the full-on Songkran water festival in Patong, beginning at 5pm with a traditional parade of monks down Soi Bangla. From then, the water pistols should start to emerge.

From 5.30pm, front and centre opposite Soi Bangla on the beachfront, contemporary dance performers will take to the stage. At 6pm, the Governor, Wichai Praisa-ngob, will formally open the Songkran Festival.

Later in the night comes a Songkran kids contest, followed at 8.30pm by a beauty contest and other activities going through to 11pm.

The water fight usually preoccupies everyone in and around Soi Bangla until late into the night.

On April 13, at 7am, there will be Thai music on the stage and at 7.30am, at the temple on the turn into Patong, there will be a rice-giving ceremony for monks. At 11am the monks will have lunch, then at 1pm begin a gentle water blessing ceremony for the elderly.

From 6.30pm until 11pm, there will be performances on the main Soi Bangla beach stage.

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