is Thailand’s famous major water festival that runs from April 13 to April 15th every year. The whole country enjoys the festivities of religious new year by cleansing themselves through water. Water is religiously known to cleanse away people’s body and spirit. Book best tours to Thailand in 2023.
Songkran is associated with moving or change as the Sun position shifts in zodiac. Thai people celebrate Buddhist new year by using water to purify themselves from any kind of bad luck from their past year. They believe that pouring water will bless them with happiness and fortune and give them opportunity for new beginning.
One of the most famous activities of Songkran festival are water fights and drenching locals and foreigners by throwing water. People line up the streets and get ready to soak all passerby’s with water guns, water hoses and water balloons.
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The Buddhist scripture shows origins of Songkran with death of Kapila Brahama after losing bet with child known as Thammabal. Afterwards every year when Sun entered aries, children of Kapila Brahama would perform procession called Maha Songkran in various postures that become part of lunisolar calendar.
In 1888 Songkran was celebrated as Thailand official new year as with other countries like China, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. From the year 1940 the new year date was changed to January 1 and Songkran was declared to be national holiday.
In 2018 Thai government extended Songkran holidays to five days ranging from April 12-16 to facilitate travelers.
Songkran Festival Traditions:
The people of Thailand return to their villages and homes to celebrate Songkran festival. Buddha statues are splashed with water for good luck. Young people wash the hands or feet of their elders to receive their blessing. Thai people from various regions celebrate Songkran in their own ways.
Thai people residing in north distribute food between monks at temple, friends and family. They also enjoy activity of firecrackers at night. Thailand central people dress in their traditional clothes and clean their houses. They also release various birds, fish and wild animals as a symbolic gesture.
Thai people of the East prepare various food for their family elders, visit sacred temples and make sand pagodas to give their respects. Thai people from south region celebrate Songkran by being truthful and avoid spending money uselessly.
Many of Thailand streets remain closed during Songkran. Thai people engage in water fights with their friends and family. They also make sure to drench foreigners with water as well. Various Nang Songkran parades are held with huge Buddha figure floats moving from town to town.
People often throw water at Buddha parade floats to purify themselves. The immensely famous Miss Songkran event competition is held in various Thailand cities as well.
1st Day (13th April) of Songkran Festival:
The first day is known as Maha Songkran. The day is celebrated by paying tribute to seniors and elders (Rod Nam Dam Hua) and giving them various gifts and sweets. Young Thai people pour scented water on their elders hands in order to receive blessing.
Thai people usually clean their homes, temples, schools and public places to remove any bad luck remaining from previous year. Thai people pour religious scented water on various temples Buddha images( Song Nam Phra). The water is poured on Buddha images body and torso but not on head.
Various Thai traditional food like Chao Kuai (condensed tea), black herb jelly and khaep mu (deep fried pork) are made for the event as well.
2nd Day (14th April) of Songkran Festival:
The 2nd day of Songkran is called Wan Nao. It is celebrated Thailand new year’s eve and is also known to be National family day. All people are encouraged by Thailand authorities to spend quality time with their families.
Thai people perform various rituals in their temples. One of the common traditions are collection of sand (dirt symbolization) and taking it to temples and monasteries. Thai people offer religious prayers and afterwards give food to their temple monks. Thai families often make sand pagodas at temples to offer their respects.
3rd Day (15th April) of Songkran Festival:
The Thailand new year officially starts on this day. The day is also called Wan Payawan day or bathing Buddha day. There are various celebrations and parties along with concerts, water fights, street food and more.
Celebrating Songkran Festival 2023:
The festival of Songkran is held all over Thailand. However, bigger cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok hold bigger events and celebrations than smaller villages and towns. Thailand’s northern areas have longer Songkran celebrations than their southern areas.
Bankok’s Songkran Celebration:
Bankok being Thailand capital is an excellent place to enjoy Thailand’s new year event. Thousand of people enjoy splashing and drenching each other with water guns, water hoses and water buckets on city’s central Silom street.
You can enjoy the view of Statue of Buddha opposite the Grand Palace on road of Sanam Luang. The stature is carried by Thai people so people can obtain blessing by sprinkling water for good luck. Thai people often go to temples to offer monks food and obtain blessing by paying respects to Buddha by pouring perfumed water on Buddha statues.
Chiang Mai Songkran Celebration:
This is one of Thailand beautiful and famous town known to host Songkran’s biggest celebrations among the world. There will be massive water fights held all over the city so be prepared to be drenched in water.
On the 12th of April there will be Buddha images parade all over the main city accompanies by local people and minstrels. Thai people often spend the 13th and 14th day by going to Buddhist monastery and offering food to monks and praying. Furthermore, they wash Buddha statues in their houses with scented water.
Thai people build stupa which is decorated with colorful flags and carry sand to their temples. On 15th the Thai people pay respects to their elders and ancestors.
Pattaya Songkran Celebrations:
The city of Pattay is known to hold longest Songkran celebrations. Various water fights begin on 13th April on all beach roads. Concerts and foam machines are assembled for organizing great parties. Loud music is played through the whole day through moving trucks used as mobile music stages.
Phuket Songkran Celebrations :
One of the most popular places to celebrate the Songkran festival is Phuket. There is huge water fights, live music and Thai traditional dance shows all around Saphan Hin park.
So no matter which location of Thailand you choose you will enjoy your stay and gain blessing from all people. Songkran is an occasion not to be missed by those who love water sports and festivals so make sure that Thailand is your next dream vacation destination.