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Songkran Festival

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What is The Songkran Festival?

The traditional Thai New Year of Songkran, is the biggest and most important of Thailand’s annual festivals and has been celebrated for centuries.

Over the course of three days (and longer in some cities), there are a variety of celebrations and rituals to welcome in the new year. From day-long water fights to wash away last year’s bad luck to the building of sand chedis (Buddhist stupas) symbolising respect for the Buddhist faith. These enchanting traditions are made in the hope of receiving prosperity for the year ahead.

Celebrations take place all over Thailand. In Bangkok head to Khao San Road, known as the backpacking district, for Thailand’s largest Songkran festival. In the ancient city of Ayutthaya you can experience more of a traditional celebration, where locals give alms to monks in the early morning, and release birds and fish back into their natural environment. If you are in Chiang Mai during Songkran, make sure you watch or take part in the cleansing of the Buddha image where locals gently pour small bowls of jasmine scented water three times over a Buddha statue whilst asking for blessings. 

Need to know

Make sure you dress for the occasion - it’s likely you will get wet! It also goes without saying you should be respectful of who you throw water at (no monks, babies or the elderly). It may be a good idea to leave your camera or mobile phone at home if they are not waterproof.

Did you know?

Songkran means ‘the Passing of the Sun’ in the ancient Sanskrit language.

If you are planning to be in Chiang Mai or elsewhere in Thailand during Songkran you will be forever grateful that you did. It is an incredible experience that you will never forget!

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