Thailand is one of the best places to visit in Asia. This place has many beautiful beaches, lovely nightlife, fun-filled festivals, and great attractions. One of the best times to visit Thailand is during the Songkran Festival. The Songkran Festival is a Thai New Year celebration, usually takes place in mid-April.
What is the Songkran Festival, Thailand?
During the Songkran Festival, there is a weeklong holiday in Thailand. The name Songkran came from the Sanskrit word ‘saṅkrānti’, meaning ‘to move’ or ‘movement’.
During Songkran festival, Thai people purify and pour water mixed with Thai aroma into Buddha statues. The festival also features a bathing ritual where people pour water on enormous Buddhist men. They believe this process to bring good luck to them. Afterwards, the great monk will give a sermon and bless those who come to this bathing ritual.
Some Key Facts About the Songkran Festival, Thailand?
- The Songkran is a new year celebration of Thailand. Although Songkran is best known as the world’s largest water fight. But the importance of a water fight goes far beyond mere entertainment.
- The official Songkran festival lasts for 3 days. But in fact, the public celebration held for the entire week. The entire country collapses in an impressive water fight.
- Songkran’s first day is also known as ‘National Elderly Day’, with Thais performing ‘Rod Nam Dum Hua’. With this tradition, young people pour perfume into the hands of the elders. They take this ritual as an act of humility and ask for their blessings.
- Songkran’s second day is the ‘National Family Day’. Families get up early to visit the temple there, where they will pray and offer Buddhist sins and food.
- After visiting the elders and practicing traditional Buddhism, day three is the time to go to parties! Everyone takes to the streets with buckets, hoses and enormous water guns. So they cry out for the New Year by being submerged.
Songkran is one of the largest celebrations of the traditional Thai New Year. It is the biggest Water Festival of the world and celebrated throughout Thailand. April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand. So everyone is taking part in this water fight across the country and bringing great relief to rising temperatures.
What is the History of the Songkran Festival, Thailand?
The Songkran festival put Thailand on the world map. The Songkran festival is the Asia’s most refreshing festival, which attracts millions of people every year.
Songkran started as a Buddhist ritual. They were using a simple sprinkling of water to symbolize purification. But, as time went by, people sprinkled it playfully until recent years. When the entire world became one. Millions started celebrating this festival!
The name Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit language. It signifies the passing of the sun from one sign of the Zodiac to another. Astrologists fix the date, but they now set it for April 13. The country closes the holiday, with its full focus on the festival and the customs associated with it.
During this festival, the streets turn into a battlefield as water snipers and children armed with water bombs do their best to calm everyone in the distance. Visitors do not rescue from the massacre.
When is the Songkran Festival, Thailand Celebrated?
Songkran is a New Year’s Eve celebration and many people return to their homes to celebrate the festival with their family and friends, so a big outing comes from all major cities in Thailand.
Songkran is an annual public holiday in Thailand and stays officially for three days, although in some parts the celebration can last for four days. Every year the water festival holds from April 13 to April 15 and will coincide with the signing date of Aries.
Best Places to Celebrate the Songkran Festival, Thailand:
Though Thai people celebrate this festival around the state, and on the Government allows for extra holidays for people to travel to their own cities.
- Songkran in PHUKET: As Thailand’s most popular beach resort, Phuket sees wildlife festivals during Songkran. All three New Year’s Day breaks have been a throwback to water buckets and water guns.
- Songkran in PATTAYA: Pattaya is popular as a party city, so it should come as no surprise that the Songkran festivities last longer here than anywhere else in Thailand. There will be a water fight going on during the normal days of Songkran (13-15-April) but Pattaya has a celebration following week too.
- Songkran at KOH SAMUI: Songkran in Samui is not as popular as Pattaya or Phuket, but it is one of the most exciting events in Thailand and events taking place in all major coastal cities.
- Songkram in CHIANG MAI: However, in the capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai will be the major participant of the Songkran festivals, some of which take place in about six days.
- Songkram in KHAO SAN ROAD: Khao San Road is unmistakably the center of modern Songkran festivals, as traffic is plentiful and wind is electric.
Essential Tips to Help you Enjoy the Songkran Festival, Thailand:
- Make a plan and go to the best spots to enjoy the Songkran Festival.
- Dress to get wet. Take a waterproof bag with you and put your cash, telephone and other necessary things in that bag.
- Try to take part in all the festivals and have time to make some local friends.
- Don’t get angry if anyone throws water on you. They will soak you in water so take this as a fun.
- If you have babies with you, cover them with raincoats.
- During the festival, the roads can be heavily crowded so try to go early at the spots.
- The glasses can protect your eyes, so try to take one with you.
- Avoid swallowing the water that is sprayed on you – you don’t know where it came from!
- If you want to stay dry, try to stay inside. Otherwise, you will get soaked in water.
- Try to wear appropriate dresses, because the Thai people care a lot about the dresses.
- Book your accommodation as early as possible.
Safety Concerns During the Songkran Festival, Thailand:
- Don’t wear white – it’s noticeable when it’s wet!
- People of Thailand highly respect the Monks, so never throw water at them.
- People riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, so don’t throw water at them.
- Avoid driving motorcycles during Songkran. Use four-wheeled public transport or walk.
- Don’t bring mobile phones, cameras or other gadgets that are not waterproof.
- Respect the elders, monks, pregnant women.
- Don’t throw water from heights.
- Don’t fill your water guns with cold water, use tap water.
Water is an important element of Songkran, especially in recent times when the water fight has become a major part of the annual festivals. If you are visiting Thailand this time, be prepared for a hike! Crowds scurry around and drop buckets of water, use water guns, and drown anyone nearby. So, this Thai New Year Celebration is must visit thing for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Songkran Festival, Thailand:
Q. Where to stay during this festival?
Answer: Songkran festival is a three-days long festival. But in many regions of Thailand they celebrate it for the entire week. In 2021, the festival will start on 13 April and end on 15 April.
Q. When is the Songkran Festival in 2021?
Answer: Songkran festival is a three-days long festival. But in many regions of Thailand, they celebrate it for the entire week. In 2021, the festival will start on 13 April and end on 15 April.
Q. Is the Event Local or is it Affected?
Answer: Songkran is a very important festival for Thai people, but it is also very popular with tourists and many tourists especially plan their holidays for this unique event. Anyone and everyone can and will take part in events. If you are out and about during Songkran, we guarantee you to squeeze it in, but you will have a lot of fun in the program!
Q. What to do after Songkran in Bangkok?
Answer: Songkran is undoubtedly the biggest festival in Thailand, and the entire world is becoming a water playground. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could explore more of Bangkok while enjoying the Songkran Festival? There are many attractions and tours you see in Bangkok.
Q. Which countries celebrate Songkran?
Answer: Songkran is a derivative of the Sanskrit word, saṅkrānti, and was used to refer to the traditional New Year celebrations in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, parts of northeastern India, parts of Vietnam and Xishuangbanna, China.