HAPPY NEW YEAR! The Songkran Festival – also called the Buddhist New Year – is running this year from the 12th to the 15th of April. Discover the history and the traditions of this so popular celebration!

Songkran, what is it?

The Songkran is one of the most emblematic celebrations of Thailand and marks the start of the brand new year. The dates are based on the lunar calendar and in some cities, festivities begin the day before.

Tradition.

This event is the occasion to wish good fortune to our beloved ones for the year upcoming and to wash away our sins. It is also the moment to join all the family, to visit the temples and to clean the house.

Thai people throw water on Buddhas, as well as on their family members in order to purify them and to take away the bad luck. The tradition is that the youngest ones show their respect to the oldest by pouring some jasmine water on their hands. But as you probably already know, this traditions changed since this…

Nowadays.

It became a great excuse for huge water fights on the streets. Equipped with water guns, buckets, big hoses and every other accessory possible, people do not hesitate one second to water everybody.

‼ WATCH OUT – DRESS CODE ‼

Coloured t-shirts and shorts.

Ladies, avoid white clothing! … and think about your bikini and wear appropriate clothing.

During these days, all the banks and administrations are closed. Only some stores and some shopping malls stay open, such as the eternal 7/11s. Most of the people are joining their families in the other provinces for the occasion.

And what is the program in the different cities of Thailand?

BANGKOK

The circulation in the big arteries of the capital is forbidden. A redoubtable water war will take place in Khao San Road and Silom Road … perfect for this season in the hottest city in the world. The festivities are official during 3 days only but they usually last the whole week.

Where did you say?

Khao San Road from the 12th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Silom Road from the 12th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

CHIANG MAI

A great parade will take place on the street to celebrate the event. Everyone is invited to pour water on Buddha’s legs and arms. The event, as in Bangkok, lasts a lot more than just the 3 official days.

Where did you say?

Huay Kaew Road from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Tha Phae Gate from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

HUA HIN

The new year is taking place on the sand … huge sand sculptures will decorate the beaches. Moreover, of course, the usual water fights will be around the entire city.

KOH SAMUI

The party will go mad on the beach, between water fights and great music. For an ambience, more festive with DJs and foam parties, prefer Chaweng Beach. For an experience more simple and traditional, Nathon will be alright. And for those whose hearts balance between both, we give you an appointment in Mae Name Beach or Bo Phut Beach!

Where did you say?

Chaweng Beach from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Nathon from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Mae Name Beach from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Bo Phut Beach from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

PATTAYA

Soi 6, Soi 7, Soi 8 and Soi Buakhao will turn into festive places. Beach roads, as well as all the adjacent streets, are closed to circulation so people can fully enjoy water fights in a secure manner.

Where did you say?

Lan Bodhi Park Na Kluea from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Chon Buri from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

PHUKET ISLAND

Population reunites on the beach to enjoy ceremonies and other animations. In the streets, water fights are amazing among locals, tourists who came for the event and … the police! Brace yourself and be prepared to get WET!

Where did you say?

Patong Beach from the 13th to the 15th of April 2018. MAP

Songkran Do’s and Don’ts!

DO’S

  • Do charities and donations – or assist with the rituals if you are not Buddhist.
  • Use waterproof bags to protect your valuable belongings. TIPS: you can find a waterproof purse for mobile phones for 100 THB in the Chatuchak Market!!!
  • Always keep an eye on your personal belongings.
  • Wish a happy new year to the local Thai people … in Thai!: « Sawatdee Pee Mai! ».
  • SMILE and ENJOY!

DON’TS

  • Do not throw water on monks, babies and elderly people.
  • Do not drive if you drank alcohol.
  • Do not throw direct water or ice cubes.
  • Do not water motos to avoid any accident.

The whole team of About Thailand Living wishes you  A GREAT SONGKRAN FESTIVAL in Thailand! 😄