Songkran is the traditional New Year in Thailand. It is celebrated on the 13th of April every year. It is commonly known as the “ Water Splashing Festival” to foreigners. The ways of celebration differ from every region of the country. It’s a long-week festival beginning from April 12- April 16 which are declared Public Holidays.
Traditionally in the morning of April 13, Thai people would go to the temples and clean Buddha images with herb-scented water. Water symbolizes purity and so splashing people with water represents washing away bad luck and misfortunes before getting ready for a brand new year.
Where do people usually celebrate Songkran?
There are places or certain areas that you can go in Bangkok. The most populous places are Khao San Road, Silom, and Siam. Big water fights are held there yearly. If you are a foreigner who wants to experience Songkran at its best, don’t miss out those places.
Chiang Mai in the northern part is believed by some to have the best and biggest Songkran Festivities in the entire country while the southern parts have water fights of its own as well. There are also pageants and music festivals all around the country the entire Songkran holiday.
Tips for Songkran Water Festival
1. Bring only your important valuables. As a matter of fact, don’t bring big bags because you might forget it when you ’re having too much fun. And since you won’t be staying in one place the whole time, the possibility of losing your stuff is quite high.
2. Wear comfortable footwear. Wear shoes or sandals that are comfortable and sturdy enough for long walks. Consider also the possibility of it getting entirely wet. If so, would you still be able to walk on it without any problems?
3. Keep your valuables in a plastic zip bag/ waterproof bag. For your pocket money, mobile phones or cameras, if any, make sure that they’re kept in a secure and watertight bags.
4. Protect yourself from direct sunlight. April is one of the hottest months of Summer. Bring a hat or cap and apply your trusted sunblock every so often to avoid getting sunburn.
5. Expect long walks and prolonged standing. This is in relation to wearing comfortable shoes. There will only be few or no buses or tuk-tuks due to the pack of people roaming on that day. The walk could start from one side to the other end of a street.
6 Rehydrate. Drinking water will be needed during hot days like Songkran. It will not only keep your body cool from the heat of the sun but also maintain the homeostasis in your body.
7. Bring your own water fight equipment. When someone splashes water to your face, it’s only fair to splash the person back. I mean cleansing bad luck and all. I tell you it’s not fun to get splashed all the time without reciprocating.
8. (For women) Be wary of your body. Be careful because according to some stories I heard, there will be some people with bad intention who will take advantage of the situation and will try to have a fill of your most precious body. When they do, hit them with your water pistol!
9. Celebrate with your friends and family. It’ll be fun as if you’re a kid again playing with water and having a goal of getting everyone wet. If you’re only a group of 2 or 3, befriend others. Talk to them and get to know them while splashing them. It’s a tactic I’m sure you did as a child to get more allies on your side. Same with water splashing fights.
10. Take a break once in a while. Your body needs rest too. Find spots where you can sit or stretch your legs. It can be on a stair somewhere, grass or field. Walking or standing for long hours will be painful on your legs and feet. Before making things worst, take a rest and resume splashing once recharged.
My Songkran Diary
I am always looking forward to Songkran since I worked in Thailand. It’s a time for me to get together with my family here in Bangkok and travel to a new place with them.
Here are some photos I’ve taken from those trips.
I hope you will have a watery Songkran Festival guys. But always keep safe!
HAPPY THAI NEW YEAR!!
How do you celebrate your New Year? Have you joined a “water festival” like Songkran before? Where do you usually go during Songkran Festival?