Songkran is an annual festival which takes place over three days during the traditional Thai New Year, April 13th-15th (in almost all provinces). This year the actual Songkran day is on Saturday, that mean it will be additional observed dates up until Wednesday 17th April 2019.
The official Songkran festival lasts three days but in reality the whole week is taken over by a mass celebration as the whole country shuts down for a momentous water fight. Wild scenes of exuberance can be seen throughout the Kingdom with music, dancing, drinking and people drenched from head to toe. Water guns, hose pipes, buckets, in fact, anything you can get your hands on can be used to splash people, and one thing is for certain: you will get wet!
As April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand, everyone gets involved with this country-wide water fight and it brings great relief from the soaring temperatures.
Songkran started as a Buddhist tradition, using a light sprinkling of water to symbolise purification but, as time went by, people began splashing each other in a more playful manner until recent years, when the entire country becomes one almighty water fight celebrated by millions!
Things you should know about Songkran festival in Thailand
If you find yourself anywhere in Thailand during mid-April, there is no getting away from being splashed (the only exceptions to this would be monks, new born babies and the elderly), even if you are dressed in your nicest clothes… so leave your best suit and suede shoes at home.
Also, take good care of cameras, passports, and other valuables – keep them in your hotel safe or, if you have to bring them out, waterproof bags are widely available and should be used. One phrase you will hear all over Thailand during Songkran is “Sawadee Bee Mai” which means ‘Happy New Year’, it is sure to be greeted with smiles and is the best way to make new friends.
Every provincial town will have some form of celebration and often the local exuberance in small towns can be as much fun as in any of the most popular towns and beach resorts listed above. Just remember to take a splashing with the good humour in which it is intended, and if you don’t like being splashed, stay indoors or in the confines of your hotel.
15 Tips for Enjoying Songkran in Thailand
1. It’s all just fun, so don’t get angry.
2. You’re going to get soaked. Just accept it.
3. If you want to stay dry, stay inside.
4. You might get daubed in a grey-white paste made of scented powder and water. It’s harmless, but stings if it gets in your eyes.
5. Say: “sawadee bee mai”. It means: “Happy New Year!”
6. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from water and the mysterious paste.
7. Use a waterproof pouch (cheap and widely available) to protect valuables.
8. Don’t wear white – it goes see-through when wet!
9. Monks are highly respected in Thailand, so never throw water at them.
10. People riding a motorbike could have an accident if suddenly soaked.
11. People riding tuk tuks or songthaews are sitting ducks – lock and load!
12. Avoid driving motorbikes during Songkran. Use four-wheeled public transport or walk.
13. Secure your valuables in your room and be mindful of any you do take with you.
14. Avoid swallowing the water being sprayed at you – you don’t know where it came from!
15. Wet tiled floors will be slippery, so be careful of your footing.
Want to be in Thailand during Songkran festival? Head to KA Travel to book your cheapest fare with world leading airlines.
Credit Songkran information from bangkok.com
Next article, we will cover where to go and where to party in all the main areas of Thailand during Songkran holidays.