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 2016 anywhere in Thailand. You don’t 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 – (xx April, depending on location)
- Wan Lai Songkran Festival on Bangsaen Beach (16-17 April)
- Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakan Province – (22-24 April)
- Chiang Mai Songkran Festival – (7 -16 April, depending on location)
- Sukhothai Songkran Festival – (6-14 April, depending on location)
- Thai – Lao New Year’s Merit Ceremony & Nakhon Phanom Songkran Festival – (8-15 April)
- Top Isan Songkran, Dok Khun Festival – (8-15 April)
- Isan Nong Khai Songkran Festival – (6-17 April)
- Hat Yai Midnight Songkran – (11-13 April)
- Songkran on Phuket Beach – (10-15 April)
- Nakhon Sri Thammarat’s Nang Dan Procession in Songkran – (11-15 April)
Bangkok Grand Songkran Festival: Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok
The Buddha image “Buddhasihing” is brought out from the National Museum for people to sprinkle lustral water at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace. There are also art and cultural performances, demonstration of Songkran in the 4 regions, demonstrations of Thai traditional cooking and paying homage at nine sacred temples which is the highlight activity of this event.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival:
Around the ancient city in Mueang District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province The activities include offering food to monks in front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, releasing of birds and fish, and pouring scented water on the hands of elders to receive their blessing. Enjoy with water splashing with elephants. Experience the culture of the ethnic Mon people and offer alms in accordance with the Mon tradition together with bathing the Buddha image by 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 Saen Beach, Chon Buri Province The stupa building contest is a predominant element of the Songkran festivities in Chon Buri. Festival highlights include the “Kong Kao” (rice mound) religious ritual, rarely seen folk games, the traditional Thai sports and Songkran beauty pageant. Other activities include traditional folk games, including muay talay, which is traditional boxing by the beach, and stalls offering local products and food.
Dok Khun Siang Khaen Songkran Festival:
Bueng Kaen Nakhon and Sichan Road (Khao Nieo Road), Khon Kaen Province The activities highlights include giving food offerings ceremony, Songkran procession with many beautiful flora cards, Miss Dok Khun Siang Khaen contest, stalls offering local products and food, paying respect to elders by making ritual offerings, and the famous “Human Wave” activity on Khao Nieo road.
Hatyai Midnight Songkran Festival:
Odeon Intersection, Sanehanuson Road, Niphat Uthit 3 Road, Hatyai District, Songkhla Province The activities during this event include the procession of Songkran at midnight, foam party, merit making by offering food to the monks and Songkran beauty pageant. In addition, paying respect to the elders by pouring scented water and the procession of Phra Phuttha Sihing are also very important to local people.
Sukhothai Songkran Festival :Wat Trapang Thong, Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai ProvinceÂ
The tourists can experience the Thai ancient market by tasting traditional food and using cowrie shells instead of cash money. Also, there are Phad Thai cooking competition which will bring attention from the foreigners. Additionally, the cultural performances are 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.