Songkran, a national celebration of the traditional Thai New Year, captures the imagination of travellers for both its cultural and fun attributes; the latter being enthusiastic bouts of water splashing between friends and relatives. This takes place all over Thailand in mid-April. The date used to vary but it is now fixed and takes place on 13-15 April every year. Although these are the dates for the public holiday in Thailand, Sonkgran itself will be celebrated over a wider period in different places around Thailand. If you feel up to it, you can play water fights for up to 12 days at various locations. However, in one location, water fights donât usually go on for more than three days. But, having said that, this year the public holiday is Wednesday to Friday and it is possible some kids will want to continue the water fights over into the weekend.
You can celebrate Songkran 2013 anywhere in Thailand. You donât have to visit one of the following major events to enjoy the experience of Songkran:
- Bangkok- (12-16 April)
- Old City Songkran Festival, Ayutthaya – (13-16 April)
- Suphan Buri Songkran Festival – (11-14 April)
- Chon Buri Songkran Festival – (13-21 April, depending on location)
- Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakan Province – (19-21Â April)
- Chiang Mai Songkran Festival – (7Â -16 April,Â depending on location)
- Sukhothai Songkran Festival – (6-14 April,Â depending on location)
- Thai – Lao New Yearâs Merit Ceremony & Nakhon Phanom Songkran Festival – (8-15Â April)
- Top Isan Songkran, Dok Khun Festival – (8-15 April)
- Isan Nong Khai Songkran Festival – (6-17 April)
- Hat Yai Midnight Songkran – (11-14Â April)
- Songkran on Phuket Beach – (10-15 April)
- Nakhon Sri Thammaratâs Nang Dan Procession in Songkran – (11-15 April)
Bangkok Grand Songkran Festival: RattanakosinÂ Island, Bangkok
The Buddha image “Buddhasihing” is brought outÂ from the National Museum for people to sprinkle lustral water at Sanam Luang, opposite the GrandÂ Palace. There are also art and cultural performances,Â demonstration of Songkran in the 4 regions,Â demonstrations of Thai traditional cooking and payingÂ homage at nine sacred temples which is the highlightÂ activity of this event.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival:
Around the ancient city in Mueang District,Â Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya ProvinceÂ The activities include offering food to monks in front ofÂ Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, releasing of birds andÂ fish, and pouring scented water on the hands of eldersÂ to receive their blessing. Enjoy with water splashingÂ with elephants. Experience the culture of the ethnicÂ Mon people and offer alms in accordance with the MonÂ tradition together with bathing the Buddha image byÂ pouring water through a bamboo gutter.
Phra Padeang Songkran Festival:
In front of the Phra Padaeng District Office, Samut Prakan Province Songkran Phra Padeang is known as “Raman New Year Day” which is famous for Thais and foreigners. There are the procession of the Hongsa and Takhap Flag, Nong Songkran and floral parade, which is the highlight of for this event. Also, other activities include the demonstrations of ethnic Mon art and culture, playing “Saba” and demonstration of Kalamae cooking.
Wan Lai Bang Saen Songkran Festival:
Bang SaenÂ Beach, Chon Buri ProvinceÂ The stupa building contest is a predominant element ofÂ the Songkran festivities in Chon Buri. Festival highlightsÂ include the “Kong Kao” (rice mound) religious ritual,Â rarely seen folk games, the traditional Thai sports andÂ Songkran beauty pageant. Other activities includeÂ traditional folk games, including muay talay, whichÂ is traditional boxing by the beach, and stalls offeringÂ local products and food.
Dok Khun Siang Khaen Songkran Festival:
BuengÂ Kaen Nakhon and Sichan Road (Khao Nieo Road),Â Khon Kaen ProvinceÂ The activities highlights include giving food offeringsÂ ceremony, Songkran procession with many beautifulÂ flora cards, Miss Dok Khun Siang Khaen contest, stallsÂ offering local products and food, paying respect toÂ elders by making ritual offerings, and the famousÂ ”Human Wave” activity on Khao Nieo road.
Hatyai Midnight Songkran Festival:
Odeon Intersection,Â Sanehanuson Road, Niphat Uthit 3 Road,Â Hatyai District, Songkhla ProvinceÂ The activities during this event include the processionÂ of Songkran at midnight, foam party, merit makingÂ by offering food to the monks and Songkran beautyÂ pageant. In addition, paying respect to the elders byÂ pouring scented water and the procession of PhraÂ Phuttha Sihing are also very important to local people.
Sukhothai Songkran Festival :Wat Trapang Thong,Â Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai ProvinceÂ
The tourists can experience the Thai ancient marketÂ by tasting traditional food and using cowrie shellsÂ instead of cash money. Also, there are Phad ThaiÂ cooking competition which will bring attention from theÂ foreigners. Additionally, the cultural performances areÂ shown by the college students.
Songran On The Beach: Patong Beach, Phuket Province
There are the procession of Phra Phutta Sihing around Patong beach, floral parade, cultural performance and Songkran beauty contest. Along the beach during the event, people will be fun with splashing of water each other.
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival:
Chiang Mai City, Chiang Mai Province There are many activities during this famous event, for example, the procession and bathing of Phra Phutta Sihing, riding a Kang Chong (A northern vehicle), carrying sand to the temple and cultural performance. The tourists also enjoy the fun splashing of water around the moat of Chiang Mai which is very famous and popular for both Thais and foreigners.