“Songkran” is a traditional festival in Thailand. The root of the word comes from Sanskrit, meaning ‘transformation’ or ‘change; to be specific, the transformation of the zodiac signs.
The Songkran Festival has been the Thai New Year celebration for centuries. The Festival symbolises hospitality, love, and relationship in families, communities, and society as a whole. This celebration takes place in mid-Summer, when the sun moves into Aries on the astrological chart. Therefore, water is used to cool down the heat, as well as to show respect and receive blessings from elder relatives and pray for those who have passed away. As for community bonding, activities that take place during this celebration include building sand pagodas, making merit, and throwing water at each other. Moreover, as a part of the tradition, it is also a big cleaning day, which creates a sense of community.
At present, the date of the ‘Great Songkran’ (Maha Songkran) or the ‘New Year’ is set on 13April, the date that the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, the day when day and night are equal. The Songkran Festival consists of 3 full days of making merit. Maha Songkran Day or New Year’s eve falls on 13April, Nao Day or the day in the middle on 14 April, and lastly the New Year on 15April.
Nowadays both Thais and foreigners are showing more interest in joining the Songkran Festival, especially in splashing water. Hence, both the public and private sectors agree to host the Songkran celebration in various locations in order to create a distinct atmosphere for visitors to enjoy the festivity. And most importantly, the hosts pay most attention on making sure that participants will be safe and have great moments during their time in the Thai New Year, ‘Songkran Splendours’.
- Khao San Road, Bangkok
Date and Time: 13-15 April 2014
Venue: Khao San Road, Bangkok
More Information: Phra Nakhon District Office – Tel.: 0 2628 9068
- Silom Road, Bangkok
Date and Time: 13-15 April 2014
Venue: Silom Road, Bangkok
More Information: Bangrak District Office – Tel.: 0 2236 1395 # 6211
- Around the City Moat, Chiang Mai
Date and Time: 12-16April 2014
Venue: Around Chiang Mai City’s moat
More Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chaing Mai Office
– Tel.: 0 5327 6140-1
- Pattaya and Chon Buri
Date and Time: 11-20 April 2014
Venue: North, Central, and South of Pattaya
Lan Bodhi (Na Kluea) Park
More Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Pattaya Office (Chon Buri)
– Tel.: 0 3842 2667, 0 3842 7850
- Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen
Date and Time: 5-15 April 2014
Venue: Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen
More Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Khon Kaen Office
– Tel.: 0 4322 7714-6
- Patong Beach, Phuket
Date and Time: 12-13 April 2014
Venue: Patong Beach, Kathu District, Phuket
More Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office
– Tel.: 0 7621 1036
- Nipat Uthit 3, Sanehanusorn Road, and Wat Mahatta Mangkhalaram,
“Hat Yai Midnight Songkran”, Songkhla
Date and Time: 11-15April 2014
Venue: Nipat Uthit 3 Road
Wat Mahatta Mangkhalaram
More Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hat Yai Office (Songkhla)
– Tel.: 0 7423 1055
- Songkran Ko Samui, Surat Thani
Date and Time: 13 April 2014
Venue: Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui, Surat Thani
More Information: Ko Samui Municipal Office – Tel.: 0 7742 1421-2
Ko Samui Tourism Centre – Tel.: 0 7742 0504
Ko Samui Tourism Association – Tel.: 0 7742 6932
Tips to fully enjoy Songkran
- ·In the morning, Thais make merit and listen to sermons for blessing, as it is a New Year celebration.
- ·To purify the Buddha or other statues, the water should not be poured right on the head, rather on other parts of the statues.
- ·The custom of pouring water on elders’ (above 60 years old) hand, is to show them your respect and ask them for a New Year blessing.
- ·Water that is used to splash on others should be clean or mixed with Thai traditional fragrance.
- ·Avoid using a high-pressured water gun or splash water aggressively on others.