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April festivals (part 1)

April festivals (part 1)

April starts today, and spring should be knocking on most of Europe’s door so it’s about time we start talking a bit about what festivals you can see during this month as well as where and when you can see them.

Songkran – Thailand’s water festival

This is the place you go if you don’t mind being constantly wet and doused with buckets of water, it’s basically a no-holds-barred water fight and everybody is fair game, but you can also join in and soak others while you get soaked.

This is the celebration of Thailand’s Lunar New Year, a celebration that is part riot and part constant shower. This is when the images of the Buddha are washed and young Thais seek the blessing of their elders who pour scented water over their hands – this ceremony is known as rod nahm dum hua.

Thankfully this festival is held at the peak of the hot season so they use the event as a chance for the entire country to collectively cool off for the three days that the celebration spans. As we mentioned earlier, nobody is safe from being doused; water balloons are launched indiscriminately at anyone and everyone, hoses are used as well as high-powered water guns.

One of the best places to witness the celebration is in the northern city of Chiang Mai, this is where the celebration’s enthusiasm borders on pandemonium.

Feria de Abril – Seville, Spain

Taking place two weeks after Easter Sunday, this is a jolly postscript to the rather somber Semana Santa. The festival or ‘feria’ is the biggest and most colorful of all the regional festivals, a full week of full-blown partying.

The particularity of this festival is the temporary tens or ‘casetas’ that sprung up into the open area of the city centre, more than a thousand of them, and there are talks that they should change the venue with a much larger one because the demand for tents is so large.

The thing about these tents is that the large majority of them are private, being erected by clubs, associations, families and groups of friends, but there are always about 15 or so that are public.

Visiting either of these festivals will be that much easier with some worldwide car rental services.

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