After a seeming eternity of successive Thai New Year’s being celebrated under the shadow of political unrest and bloodshed, Thais have welcomed this new year with gusto.
While the country remains under the firm control of the the junta led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha following the May 2014 “military intervention” which saw the removal of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a gradually improving Thai economy driven by domestic spending and increasing consumer confidence saw Songkran celebrations return to their more “traditional” formats.
Across the kingdom polite traditional Buddhist ceremonies have taken place to mark the 2558 Thai New Year. Children have visited their seniors and paid respect, and most Thais will have visited a temple at least once.
While many of the historic traditions of Songkran continue, on the streets of the kingdom the more recent Songkran “tradition” of unrestrained water fights and perambulations have also been in full swing as Thais release the tensions and frustrations of recent years.
The photos in this series were taken in the Bangkok suburb of On Nut, where Thais from all walks of life celebrated Songkran 2015 with all of the enthusiasm the Songkran festival is renowned around the world for.
Songkran 2015 in Bangkok slide gallery
Photos John Le Fevre
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He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
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