What is Songkran?
Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival. An important event on the Buddhist calendar, this water festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’.
The Worlds Biggest Water Fight!
How do Thai people celebrate Songkran
Water is an important element of Songkran, especially in more recent times when the throwing of water has become a huge part of the annual celebrations and if you’re visiting Thailand during this period don’t be surprised if you get splashed. Crowds of people roam around throwing bucketfuls of water, using water pistols and just generally soaking anyone in the vicinity. Appreciation of family is another important aspect of the festival, with many Thai people making their way to their hometowns to spend time with older relatives. Buddhists also visit temples throughout Songkran where water is poured on Buddha images and on the hands of Buddhist monks as a mark of respect.
What happens on the first day of the festival?
Known as Songkran Day, the first day of the festival is an exuberant celebration with processions of Buddha images taking place throughout the country. The Thai people also prepare themselves for the beginning of the new year with lots of house cleaning. On top of that, April 13th is when the water throwing really gets going!
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When is Thai New Year’s Day?
How do people celebrate in Bangkok?
Is Songkran celebrated in Chiang Mai?
It is; in fact, Chiang Mai is actually home to one of the country’s biggest Songkran celebrations in the form of the Chiang Mai Songkran Festival. Lasting a bit longer than the traditional three days, this festival kicks off with an eye-catching procession around the city. Street food, cultural celebrations and traditional performances are also an important part of Songkran in this part of northern Thailand. Of course, there’s also the customary water throwing.
What happens in Phuket during Songkran?
Plenty! Thailand’s largest island is buzzing with activity during Songkran, especially in the Patong Beach area. Expect gridlocked streets filled with pickup trucks carrying young people throwing water at locals and tourists alike. Along Bangla Road, which is where you’ll find the liveliest nightspots in Patong, Songkran celebrations continue well into the wee hours of the morning. Saphan Hin Park is the main focus of the festivities in Phuket Town. Live music and traditional performances make up part of these hugely enjoyable celebrations.
Is the festival just for locals or can anyone get involved?
Without a doubt, Songkran is a hugely important festival to the Thai people but it’s also very popular with visitors and many tourists specifically arrange their holidays around this unique event. Anyone and everyone can and will get involved in the celebrations. If you’re out and about during Songkran, you’re almost guaranteed to end up soaked but you’ll have lots of fun in the process! So, if you’re planning a trip to Songkran in Thailand, hopefully this feature will have given you some insight into what makes this such an important event for the Thai people and also what you can expect from Songkran celebrations throughout the country.
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