It is useful to know that there are many public holidays observed in Thailand that follow the Buddhist tradition. For instance, Songkran Festival, also known as the water splashing festival runs from April 13th-15th every year. With schools closed and the bright summer sun out, locals and tourists take over the streets of Bangkok in Silom, RCA and Siam Square area for some water splashing fun.
Traditionally, though, Songkran celebrates the Thai New Year, where we pay respect to elder relatives, and bathe the Buddha image for prosperity for the rest of the year.
Another significant occasion is Loy Krathong festival, which traditionally takes place on the day of the full moon. This is the night where Thais pay respect to the goddess of water (Phra Mae Khong Kha) by floating lotus shafts that are decorated with candles, incense and flowers. With Bangkok being located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, this is one of the most beautiful time of the year, with thousands of candles lighting up the peaceful waters at night.
In 2015, the Thailand Countdown project was launched by The Tourism Authority of Thailand to create an iconic landmark for New Year countdown the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Between December 29th-31st, Maharaj road and Chetuphon Road were turned into a 300-meter walking street, featuring stages of music and cultural performances that went on till midnight. As the clock struck 12, spectacular fireworks were displayed and colourful multimedia lighting projections were mapped on the stupa the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).
Additionally, Bangkok is home to a very large Chinese community. Hence, Chinese New Year is celebrated every year in February, with colourful parades of lion dancers and exploding firecrackers taking over the streets of Yaowarat and homes decorated with red paper lanterns, right in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown.