The Songkran Festival is the celebration of the Thai New Year in mid-April (13-15), the hottest month of the year here in Thailand. Having fun (Sanook) is a part of Thai culture and during Songkran, Thai people enjoy themselves and play friendly water fights as part of Songkran’s ‘fun’ activities. But this is not all, there are other rituals too. The meaning behind all the water splashing is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes of the past year.It is believed that the water fight cleanses the participants’ bodies of evil, allow them to enter the new year rejuvenated and ready for a fresh start.
Songkran is one of the most colorful, festive times of the year. Most office buildings, banks, and universities shut down completely during the celebrations while big shopping malls usually remain open. A large number of foreign visitors travel to Thailand to join in the world-famous water fights, the grandest located in Bangkok’s Silom, KhaosanRoad or at the Walking Street in Pattaya.
For those of us who do not like to get soaked,we are happy to let you know that you might visit these places to help get you away from the crowds ofSongkranand perhaps, stay dry, as well.
Grab a drink, listen to some good music and have fun with friends. Local bars and pubs often throw great Songkran parties!
2. Travel outside Bangkok:
Get out and see how the smaller towns and other provinces celebrate Songkran. While they do have the same general ways of celebrating as we do here in Bangkok, you can find some great festivals, beauty pageants, and parades in the smaller towns which will give you a great taste of local life!
3. Visit a Temple:
Making merit is an essential part of Songkran. All temples from the largest to the smallest will host the Thai people who are coming to make merit as a way to start off the year right. Besides the usual rituals of pouring water over the Buddha image, you can also see people making sculptures out of sand.
Of course, you could always choose to dive in , join the crowd and enjoy the world’s biggest water fights (just remember to keep your valuables in a plastic bag)!
Happy Thai New Year everyone!
Sawasdee Pee Mai!