Chonburi will hold the 84th annual Phuttha Sihing and Songkran festival to welcome in the Thai New Year April 11-19 at Phra Phuttha Sihing Hall in Muang District.
The festival, which began in 1932, combines the ceremony venerating Phuttha Sihing with celebrations of Songkran and the Chonburi Red Cross Fair together into one. Activities include a procession for venerating the Phuttha Sihing statue, water pouring for the elders, folk games, classical masked-dances from the Department of Fine Arts, cultural performance, exhibitions and stalls.
The festival, started to promote peace after riots in 1932, when the absolute monarchy was dissolved in Thailand, aims to conserve and promote local customs as well as to instill a sense of value for the cultural heritage. It also raises income to support Chonburi Red Cross.
In honoring the golden Buddha, devotees will bathe the statue in water and pray. For Songkran, festivities will include arts exhibitions, a Songkran parade, Miss Songkran pageant, sports competitions, sales of locally made products, Chinese movies, and concerts every night.