SONGKRAN – Happy New Year Thai style.

Thailand is one of the most amazing holiday destinations you can imagine. A travellers dream and if you have not been yet,then all I can say is GOOOOO.

 

I can’t stop myself from promoting this beautiful country which offers almost everything you can think of when you looking for a holiday.
Sun, beaches,mountains,wildlife,friendly people,temples,bustling cities, great food and if you want to party, then some of the best raves and full moon parties you can think off. It’s a travellers paradise and yes Thailand was the first country I visited as a solo traveller back in the days. I have subsequently visited this country umpteen times and yet there is something new to be discovered every time I have gone back.
This time I was lucky enough to find myself in the middle of the most celebrated festival in Thailand and the Thai New Year. – SONGKRAN.

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Happy New Year!

It’s April and yes its New Year, as Thailand follows the lunar calendar and this Land of smiles turns into one massive water party during this time of the year.
The Thai New Year’ Day is officially the 13 April every year, but the celebrations normally start on the 12th and don’t stop until the 16th. And that’s when the Songkran festival is celebrated.

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Everyone has to expect to get wet during Songkran.If you’re heading to Thailand during this time, don’t expect to stay dry for long when out in public. No one is exempt.

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What is Songkran?
One of the most important events on the Buddhist calendar, Songkran marks the beginning of the annual rain season.

The word “songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti and literally means “astrological passage” It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart.

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Happening at the end of the dry season the festive days give locals an opportunity to show their respect for water, the most important element for agriculture. And what better way then to show your respect by throwing water buckets on each other! Yes that is how they show their respect in this festival.

 

What was once a simple visit to a local temple has turned into a revolution with water pistols, balloons and general splashing about.
The Thai still visit their local temples to pray and wash Buddhist statues which is said to bring prosperity and luck for the year ahead.

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Songkran festivities may last as long as four or five days, and involve music, dancing and liberal amounts of alcohol.

Revellers move around the streets in open trucks with barrels of water, drenching everyone in sight.
Bangkok is relatively less busy during this holiday, as most locals return home to celebrate this festival with their loved ones. If you are in Bangkok during Songkran like i was ,you’ll find designated water zones across the city. Khao San Raod in Bangkok is a popular Songkran destination, with both locals and tourists enjoy this festival and douse each other with water.

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Remember that the festival is fun so take the splash in good spirit.

What did surprise me was in-spite of the huge crowds and liberal amounts of alcohol limits there was no misbehaviour and a very child friendly atmosphere everywhere I went.

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The children absolutely loved it and if we did get another chance to experience it again we would not miss this for the world.

 

“Sawadee Bee Mai” meaning “Happy New Year”.

 

Your survival kit:
* a water gun,
* a waterproofed camera/smart phone.
* some money to spend.
* positive attitude and ready to get wet and have a great time.

Battlefield :

Find the nearest battle spot and go there in the afternoon. There are several locations in and around all major towns and cities in Thailand.
Depending on your location you would probably want to go to the biggest one.
So if you’re in Bangkok, your destination is Khao San Road, or Siam.

 

I have never experienced anything like this in my life, so if you can make it to Thailand during Songkran dont think twice.

 

Sawasdee Krab.

 

   

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44 thoughts on “SONGKRAN – Happy New Year Thai style.

  1. Nice pictures and splashing of water with water pistons and balloons sounds interesting. Willtry to visit Thailand at this time of the year.

  2. I have a lot of friends who have been to Thailand for Sonkran. Unfortunately, I haven’t been despite living in Southeast Asia. Your enthusiasm is contagious; I might just consider going there soon.

  3. Such an interesting place I wanna visit one day to know their culture and way of living.. I’m interested in shopping as well as they said a lot of great stuff there. This is included in my bucket list. Thank you for posting. Great info.

  4. I did not know that New Year was in April in Thailand. I would have assumed it was around January-February, like the Chinese New Year.
    It’s also very interesting to learn about the history and origins of this celebration and the water games! Seems like a fun time to visit Thailand!
    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  5. It’s good to see proper picture of the festival 🙂 Because twice i was there I was always busy celebrating with the locals haha Keep exploring 🙂

  6. This reminds me of the western new year in Cambodia. We were in Siem real and the tradition is to douse everyone in water and talcum powder at midnight. This looks like a great way to cool down and have some fun. Might not be a good idea to wear your best clothes though

  7. Is it something like makar sankranri in India? I loved the way you narrated your experience. I would love to visit thailand during this time and enjoy the festival myself.

  8. A little bit like Holi festival in India but without the colours, only water balloons and pistols. What a way to welcome the monsoon, isn’t it? I love water and I love monsoons and I love getting wet in the rains so I wouldn’t mind people splashing some water on me. And of course, free flowing alcohol is an added benefit 😉

  9. I love how Thailand can have huge crowds and even alcohol, yet remain child friendly. That says a lot about the inherent respect in the culture. We came a little too close to a full moon party last visit, but Songkran seems like it maintains fun and decorum.

  10. I am origin from Thailand and even though I am aware about Songran I glad to read all about it! Its a very fun festival! I dont want to kill the joy now, but often while enjoying getting water thrown on me I cant help than feel like we are wasting so much water for some fun while on the other part of the world they are dying of thirst!😔 Happens also when I am in a swimming pool…

    I am glad that you love Thailand and that you warmly recommend it to others! Thank you

  11. I love Thailand but I have never been there during Songkran and have always wanted to! I’d love to take my daughter to experience this one day because I know she would absolutely love it! Loked like os much fun.

  12. I love the atmosphere here. Though i tend to prefer avoiding all such places with too much crowd, this seems different. It seems fun and a great community experience. I would not mind getting drenched here at all.

  13. Recently I was invited to Songkran festival in Thai restaurant and I really enjoyed it. For first time I was part of such great Thai festival. Visiting local temple with water pistols, balloons and splash games reminds me of our Holi festival. Wow this festival is celebrated for agriculture and I think there are very similar festivals in India too. Great to know that Songran is Sakranti from Sanskrit. Sanskrit is so much wide-spread.

  14. We knew about the Thai New Year but this is the first time we are reading about how it is celebrated. The celebration sounds fun filled and we guess living so close to Thailand we have to attend this sometime soon. 🙂 It’s also good to know that in spite of all the grand celebrations the public is so well behaved…

  15. What a lovely way to capture this Thai tradition. And I’m not aware of other events where you’ll need a water gun. What a unique highlight of this country.

  16. Thailand looks so beautiful! It is definitely on my bucket list for the future. This seems to be a great tradition to experience, I would love to be in Thailand during Songkran. Thank you for the informative post!

  17. I totally must agree with you – Thailand is such a wonderfully beautiful country to visit. I absolutely love it…and yes Songkran is such a great and unique time of the year. This fantastic Thai tradition is so fun and a great way to welcome in the new year. A great highlight for sure!

  18. It is such a shame that I missed Songkran by just a week. Had I known earlier, I would have extended my trip to Bangkok. The festival looks very similar to the Indian Hindu festival Holi. I agree with you, Thailand indeed is a country with a lot to offer. It is good to read that people behaved well.

  19. I have thought of visiting Thailand many times now, however, I was discouraged each time, because it has become such a touristic destination. I would have to reconsider that and visit it during the New Year festivities. It sounds like sooo much fun! I would absolutely love to take part in that water gun “fight” 🙂 🙂 Based on your photos, it is time spent so enjoyably!

  20. Songkran is a wonderful time in the Thai calendar. I was in Chiang Mai in April this year, at that time. Nobody is exempt and I have never been so wet in my life.Not mention random people just throwing buckets of water over you. It was a fantastic time and the Thai people had some public holidays for it, and they travelled to stay with their families.

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