Celebrate Songkran in the real and virtual worlds

Iconic Songkran Festival 2022. photo courtesy of Iconsiam

Once again, this year's Songkran celebration won't see any water splashing and foam parties. But this doesn't mean we will be far from having fun.

It's always ideal to celebrate Thai New Year in a traditional Thai way. That's probably why many leading shopping malls have come up with various Songkran-themed activities to make sure that Thai people will be happy amid this soaring temperature.

Here are some interesting events being held with that good intention and we will see for ourselves that a fun and peaceful mind can go hand-in-hand during this non-wet Songkran festival.

   Organised by Central Pattana, the "Thailand's Songkran Festival 2022" is bringing Thai cultural activities to all 35 Central shopping centres nationwide until Sunday. The campaign is aimed to promote local identities of each region and present them in both traditional and contemporary styles. Visitors are invited to dress in Thai fabrics or vibrant floral print shirts and have fun with many Songkran-themed activities at their nearest shopping mall. In Bangkok, CentralWorld features the most variety of fun activities as well as special promotions from participating shops. (See the story below for more details.)

   Held in a grand style to preserve the cherished Thai tradition, the "Iconic Songkran Festival 2022" features a spectacular setting at the River Parc where visitors will enjoy different types of kites flying in the sky. Many activities are presented in the atmosphere of a temple fair at the Rassada Hall, Charoen Nakhon Hall and Sooksiam. (See the story below for more details.)

   "Siam Paragon Summer Wondertel" allows you to get wet in a 30m-long skimboard racetrack that is open to water sports enthusiasts. It's a major part of the beach resort set up at Parc Paragon that offers the relaxing feel of a high-end, beach resort-like experience, until April 24. Highlights include the "Bangkok Skim Game 2022" competition tomorrow and Friday, mini-concerts by popular artists, and surfing in virtual reality. The latest summer fashion items from leading brands are available and delectable dishes are served at the beach bar and food trucks. Visit facebook.com/siamparagonshopping.

  "Water Festival 2022" is bringing the Songkran celebration to six provinces in all four regions of Thailand -- Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, and Phuket -- until Friday. Join the ritual bathing of Buddha images and experience the traditional Songkran in a new normal style at the five royal temples and four famous pier sites along the curve of Chao Phraya River, including Wat Phra Chetuphon, Wat Arun, Wat Rakhang, Wat Kalayanamitra, Wat Prayurawongsawas, Tha Maharaj, Asiatique The Riverfront, Lhong 1919 and Sook Siam@Iconsiam. Free shuttle boat services are available. Visit facebook.com/WaterFestivalThailand.

   Inspired by the beauty of Isan nature and culture, "A Sense Of Thai 2022: Summer Vibrance" marks the Songkran festival in a calmer fashion, until Sunday. Expect to see beautiful decorations and local products that remind you of the uniqueness of the northeastern region in many zones. Buddha statues are housed on the fifth floor for everyone to pay respect to and a performance of contemporary Thai-Isan music is staged daily at noon, 3pm and 6pm. Also, the "Songkran Marketplace By TAT" brings premium tours, hotels and spa packages from entrepreneurs from all regions. They are available at special prices. Visit centralembassy.com or call 02-119-7777 ext 2001.

    "Mega Songkran: Cultural Heritage" brings a wide range of heartwarming activities for all family members, at Megabangna, Bang Na-Trat Road, until Sunday. Visitors are invited to sprinkle water onto a replica of the Buddha image housed in the Bodh Gaya Chedi, India, witness an exquisite sand pagoda, and make merit by virtually releasing birds on an interactive screen. There are also cultural performances, a temple fair with fun games, and a Thai food festival bringing more than 60 famous restaurants countrywide. Visit mega-bangna.com.

Moreover, there are at least two virtual reality platforms that allow everyone to create their own avatars to get soaking wet in the metaverse.

Join the water spray game with the beautiful avatars of Jam, Noey and Piglet, the three sisters from the JNP girl group during "Songkran Festival In Twin Planet Metaverse" today. A surprise guest will show up tomorrow and expect to see three legendary singers -- Chompoo, Ping and Pom-Autobahn on Friday. Visit twin-planet.com.

Alternatively, the "Onesiam x Zepeto Metaverse Songkran Festival 2022" allows 300 million global citizens on the Zepeto application to come up with their own unique avatar, and share it with friends on social media and get into the water battles, until April 19.

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