The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is celebrated annually from the 13th to the 15th of April. However, this New Year’s celebration is unlike any other. Traditional events such as parades, concerts, fireworks, and parties are commonplace.
A king-wide water fight is also in store for you. People spray each other with water on nearly every street, and it’s normal to be soaked every time you leave the house. Increasing numbers of foreign visitors are drawn to this colorful celebration of Thai culture. In honor of Songkran 2023, we’ll explain six reasons why this Thai New Year’s celebration is unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
The Entire Nation Is Participating In This Water Struggle
The Buddhist New Year is commemorated in Thailand with the Songkran festival. It is a time of regeneration as it marks the beginning of the new solar year, and it is also a time when spectacular water fights begin all throughout the country. The celebration is primarily famous for its water fights, in which participants throw water at each other using buckets and water pistols, balloons, and whatever else they can think of. The ceremonial throwing of water represents erasing past misfortune and the beginning of a new year with a clean slate.
Bangkok, the nation’s capital, plays host to one of the most significant festivals in the country. People are standing along the renowned Khao San Road wielding enormous water cannons and pressure hoses. At the same time, the road itself has been sealed off to traffic.
Celebration & Spirituality Merge Well
Songkran goes beyond water fights. This Buddhist holiday has ancient customs. Thai Songkran means “move” or “change place” and is related to the Water Festival. Locals first threw water over Buddha statues to clean them. This water blessed family and elders. Thai people think water spiritually cleanses sins and grudges from the past year.
Since then, water purification has become a nationwide water combat emphasizing fun and spirituality. Locals spend Songkran visiting Wats (Buddhist temples) to donate alms, make merit, and pour water. Traditional music and dance performances are also available.
Everyone Participates In Thailand’s Songkran Festival
The general guideline is to avoid going outside during Songkran if you don’t want to get soaked. Everyone participates, and crossing the street will almost certainly make you drenched. Everyone joins the joy, dancing and sprinkling water on the roads, including children, adults, the elderly, police, and monks.
The party lasts from dawn to night, and loud music is playing everywhere. Additionally, you may get anything you need from stalls lining the streets, including water cannons and buckets for mixing clay. The villagers wipe clay or chalk on either cheek to mimic a monk’s blessing. Everyone will also wish you a “Sa-wat-dee pi mai” or “Happy New Year.”
Songkran Takes Place In April
One of the main reasons Songkran is the best New Year’s holiday is that it takes place in April. This is the hottest month, with temperatures hovering around 35°C. With such hot weather, there’s no better time for a water fight, and you’ll look forward to getting soaked whenever you step outside!
Songkran Festivities Last Between Three And Seven Days
While official Songkran celebrations begin on April 13 and conclude on April 15 (Thai New Year’s Day), celebrations can last up to a week across the country. Chiang Mai, the northern capital, stages one of the largest Songkran celebrations, with festivities typically lasting one week.
One of the distinctive traditions of northern Thailand is to carry bags of sand to their local temple to return the sand that their feet have carried away over the past year. The sand is then sculpted into miniature stupas and pagodas and embellished with colorful flags.
Songkran Is A Lot Of Fun In Thailand
The Songkran holiday in Thailand is one of the world’s most joyful New Year’s celebrations. Everyone in the country is happy and upbeat, and you can’t help but join in on the fun – and throw a few buckets of water while you’re at it!
Have you ever been to Thailand during Songkran? Tell us in the comments section below!