Speaking of Thailand festivals, the most magnificent one is definitely the annual Songkran Festival, a water festival so large that attracts tourists from all over the world every year.
MyProGuide “Thai Songkran Festival Guide 2019” covered all the important precautions here: Where to participate in Songkran festival? What should I pay attention to? What are some fun things to do? All your questions are sorted out in this guide, check them out!
Why is Songkran festival important?
The Thailand Songkran Festival is just as important as New Year Festival. It is a festival that people pray for following years with happiness and blessings. On about 13 to 15 April every year, the whole citizens and people from all over the world would come together to celebrate this festival. It is Thailand’s internationally popular festival, but in addition to happiness, there are some matters to be paid attention while attending the Thai Songkran Festival.
Why is Songkran festival celebrated?
Songkran is a festival where locals celebrate the New Year and pray for good days in the coming year. It is an important activity of Thailand traditional Chinese New Year. Songkran is actually Sanskrit, representing the transposition of the spring sun, mostly known as the Spring Equinox, the beginning of a new year.
Legend has it that there are seven “Goddesses of Songkran” whose father was beheaded due to offending the God of India. The goddesses took responsibility in turns for taking care of the father’s head because the drought would be caused by his head landing. It is interesting that the Songkran Festival will also be in different names depending on the name of the goddess because it happens in different week day. For example, the Songkran Festival happening on Friday is called Kimina.
What is the purpose of Songkran festival?
The Songkran Festival is the most traditional festival for the Thai-speaking group and Southeast Asian countries. As the Thai New Year, the activities of the day are quite diverse. Many Thailand wanderers working in foreign countries will take this opportunity to reunite with their relatives and friends, which is equivalent to the Thai New Year.
The Songkran Festival is divided into three parts: removing the old, blessing, and starting the new year. Everyone will get up early in the morning to bathe the Buddha. After completing the religious business, they will start a three-day celebration.
Splashing each other with clean water symbolizes that the last year’s bad luck was taken away and welcome a new beginning with blessing. In addition to splashing water, there is also a way of tossing flour on each other, also with the meaning of blessing.
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How is Songkran festival celebrated in Thailand?
The 2019 Thailand Songkran Festival will be held from 8th to 18th April, depending on the region. These days in the traditional Solar Terms of Thailand is the hottest time of the year. It is also the time of slack farming. Everyone will pour water on each other to celebrate these days and pray for smooth profits in the coming year.
Going to the temple:
The traditional Songkran Festival begins with bathing in the morning, praying in the temple, and blessing to the monks. For those who want to experience the local culture more deeply can try to take a look at the temple earlier in the morning.
Thai people think that water is pure. People could wash away bad luck and bring new beginnings for the coming year through the action of splashing water. In the temple, people will sprinkle water on monks and Buddha statues. At home, they will also sprinkle water to express gratitude to the elders. And on the street, people are sinking into water war as a carnival scene. Water guns, water pipes and buckets and surely wet people show up to be the best star of the festival.
Dancing and music are indispensable for any celebration! On the days of the Songkran Festival, many people will wear traditional Thai costumes to the streets. Whether there are musical instruments or dance performances, the scene is like a carnival!
Last but not least, not to mention about food! We believe that the street food in Thailand has already made many stomachs fell in love. On this day, there will be many food stands along the street in response to the Songkran Festival. The mobile street food stands will let everyone playing with water without getting hungry!
Songkran Festival 2019: Important Dates and Must-Go Attractions
The Songkran Festival is a national celebration. In addition to the well-known major cities, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, there is the famous Ayutthaya with famous monuments and Anpawa with floating market attractions also have lots of grand events.
Date of festival: 4/12~4/15
Khao Shan Rd., Chit Lom, RCA, Democracy Monument, and The Royal Plaza — The best places to feel the Songkran Festival. If you are not satisfied during the day, you can go to the famous nightclub area RCA and drink beer with splashing water.
Transportation of Khao Shan Road: Take BTS to Ratchathewi station and get around Khao Shan Road by taxi. There will be traffic control in the festival period.
Transportation of Silom Road: Take MRT Silom station or BTS to Sala Daeng station
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Date of Festival: 4/12~4/15
Thapae Gate, Chang Puek Gate — Fight in the water was along the river to keep your loading full!
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Date of Festival: 4/13~4/18
Ayutthaya is the capital of the old Ayutthaya Dynasty. It is also a recommended site by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to participate during the Songkran Festival. In these days, painted elephants will appear in the old town full of historical heritages, which is unique to Ayutthaya. Visitors here could feel the festival atmosphere with the painted elephants. The elephants spray water on the streets to share the blessings. It is quite unique and worth visiting!
Transportation to Ayutthaya: Take MRT to Hua Lamphong station, and take train from Hua Lamphong train station to Ayutthaya train station, then take Tuk Tuk to Ayutthaya.
A Few Notice for Songkran Festival
Are you feeling excited already, can’t wait to celebrate? Do you want to make your experience in Songkran Festival more enjoyable? Don’t miss out the notice provided below!
6 DONT’S in Songkran festival:
1.Don‘t wear exposed clothing
(While there is no official definition of exposure, wearing a bikini or bare upper body is absolutely impossible, wearing a sleeveless top is usually classified in the Thai exposed clothing standard)
2. Don’t dance with flirting.
3. Don‘t spill disable sewage.
4. Don’t use high-pressure water guns.
5. Don’t sell alcoholic products on the sites.
6. Don’t splash water while driving.
Take waterproof protection, anti-stealing gears on you
During the activity, people are gathering all on the streets and alleys, and the pickpockets will take advantage of it. It is recommended to bring enough cash and don’t carry too many valuables. Use waterproofing protection like packed in waterproof bags for mobile phones, wallets, cameras, etc.
Mind the locations of purchasing water guns
Water guns can basically be seen in most supermarkets with different styles. If you are too rush to buy one, you can see a lot of stalls on the roadside to the active sites. Of course, the prices will be more expensive.
During the Songkran Festival, roads will be closed due to traffic control. It is recommended to take the subway or public transportation as much as possible.
The Songkran Festival in Thailand is a festival full of blessings and joy. It would be a great idea to go to this Thai New Year with friends or family in the next spring. MyProGuide wish yourself a good beginning in the coming year, and say goodbye to the unpleasant past.