NNT

BANGKOK, 11 April 2014 – The Royal Thai Police is stepping up efforts to facilitate convenience during the Songkran celebration, especially during April 11-17. 

Local authorities are set to highlight family values and traditional elements during this year’s Songkran festival, in contrast to the focus on water plays and wild celebrations in the past years.

This year, TAT will be joining with various provincial authorities to organise and host Songkran Splendours activities in 12 major provinces of the four Thai regions. Family-friendly activities will be arranged for locals and visitors during April 11-20. The theme of this year’s Songkran celebrations has been chosen to reflect the traditional beliefs that the element of water is imbued with near-miraculous qualities. Water is believed to help unite families and bring friends together.

Songkran Festival is one of the most celebrated festivals in Thailand. Songkran Day, which occurs on April 13th, marks the New Year on the ancient Thai calendar. The second day of Songkran is officially the National Family Day. Families would wake up early and offer alms to the monks before proceeding to share quality family time together.

Traditionally, Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbours. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl is replaced by a bucket, garden hose and water guns in all provinces of the country.

Songkran is believed to have been adopted from the Sankranti Hindu festival. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. In Nepal, the official New Year is celebrated on the 1st of Baisakh according to astrological calendar Vikram Samwat and the day often falls somewhere between 12–15 April.

The Water Festival in general is the New Year's celebrations that take place in Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand as well as Yunnan, China. It is called the 'Water Festival' by westerners because people pour water on one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the new year. The act of pouring water is also a show of blessings and good wishes. It is believed that on this Water Festival, everything old must be discarded, or it will bring the owner bad luck.

SURIN, 11 April 2014  — The Surin Municipality has announced to hold a grand celebration during the Songkran festival, with proper zoning and walking streets already established for the big event.

Deputy Governor of Surin province Pipop Damthongsuk presided over the public announcement that the province is now ready to host its grand Songkran festival celebration.

Proper zoning of the venue has already been set up in place, with OTOP products expected to be sold at the walking streets. The grand celebration will be held from April 11-19. Fun-filled activities can be expected during the event, as well as merit-making and other cultural performances.

Officials say they expect Surin this year to have a lively Songkran festival, especially within the city center. Security will also be tight in order to prevent any disorderly conduct and to ensure that the celebration runs smoothly.

NARATHIWAS, 11 April 2014 - 120 boys and teenagers in the southern province of Narathiwat have ordained as novices, or samanera, in a traditional ceremony held at the provincial Irrigation Office on Thursday (April 10).

Chairing the ordination ceremony on the layman side were deputy provincial governor Sithichai Sakda and commander of Narathiwat’s provincial police division Pol. Lt-Gen. Pattanawuth Angkhanawin. Both chairpersons led a large number of Buddhists in offering food, both fresh and dried, to the novices. The ordination follows a campaign by Promnivas Monastery in Muang District, Narathiwat, to encourage children to enter monkhood during the summer vacation and dedicate the merit gained to Their Majesties the King and Queen.

Presiding over the ordination ceremony on the ecclesiastic side was the abbot of Promnivas Monastery Venerable Phra Khru Wisit-prommakhun. The ceremony was also joined by 50 monks who will act as preceptors taking care of the novices during their brief period in monkhood.

The ordination was conducted under tight security as Narathiwat province is located in the deep South being plagued by insurgency. Ordination is regarded an act of great merit and is, therefore, popular among young Thai men. It is customary for them to spend a few months in the monastery either as a novice before reaching the age of twenty, or as a monk after attaining his maturity.

BANGKOK, 11 April 2014  – People have started departing Bangkok to spend the Songkran holidays in their home provinces, resulting in heavy traffic major roads leading away from the capital city. 

BANGKOK, 11 April 2014  – Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she would comply with the ruling by the Constitutional Court no matter what the outcome would be. 

BANGKOK, 11 April 2014  - General Prem Tinsulanonda, Privy Council President and Statesman, declined to give any opinion about the ongoing political turmoil, but urged that all media present news that benefits the country. 

BANGKOK, 11 April 2014– The US embassy in Bangkok has made a video clip to celebrate the Thai New Year, which is also known as the Songkran Festival. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014 18:16

CIMB may miss its deposit target this year

BANGKOK, 10 April 2014,  - Competition for deposits among Commercial banks in the first quarter of this year was not as fierce as it could have been, as a result of the Monetary Policy Committee’s move to reduce the benchmark rate to 2%. Other factors were the ailing economy as well as the banks’ lack of policy to promote savings, to fund their lending, says a CIMB Bank executive.

BANGKOK, 10 April 2014,  - The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has established an agency to handle border trade, with the aim of expanding operations, and encouraging investment in neighboring countries. 

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