Songkran Festival

     Songkran is a celebration of the traditional Thai New Year and this is one of the most important festival in the country. During the day, locals visit temples, offer delicious home cooked meals to Buddhist monks. Thai people usually pour water on Buddha statues as a symbolic gesture representing the cleansing and absolution of one’s sins. Most major streets in Thailand are closed to traffic to allow numerous young people to use them safely as arenas for water fights. The festival also involves lavish traditional parades with intricately decorated floats, dancers in colourful clothing and a spectacular fireworks display.


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     If you find yourself anywhere in Thailand during mid-April, there is no getting away from being splashed (the only exceptions to this would be monks, new born babies and the elderly), even if you are dressed in your nicest clothes… so leave your best suit and elegance shoes at home. Also, take good care of cameras, passports, and other valuables – keep them in your hotel safe or, if you have to bring them out, waterproof bags should be used. 

     One phrase you will hear all over Thailand during Songkran is “Sawaddee Bee Mai” which means ‘Happy New Year’. Greeting back with smiles is the best way to make new friends. Every provincial town will have some form of celebration and often the local exuberance in small towns can be as much fun as in any of the most popular towns. Just remember to take a splashing with the good humour in which it is intended, and if you don’t like being splashed, stay indoors or in the confines of your hotel.


Photo by: Madeleine Deaton



Tipps for Enjoying Songkran in Thailand 

  • It’s all just fun, so don’t get angry and enjoy.
  • You’re going to get soaked. Just accept it. 
  • If you want to stay dry, stay in your room.
  • You might get daubed on your cheeks with a grey-white paste made of scented powder and water. It’s harmless, but be aware not to let it gets in your eyes.
  • “Sawaddee Bee Mai” means “Happy New Year!” 
  • Sunglasses or goggles will protect your eyes from water and the mysterious paste. 
  • Use a waterproof pouch (cheap and available at 7-11) to protect valuables. 
  • Avoid wearing white – it goes see-through when wet! 
  • Monks are highly respected in Thailand, so never throw water at them. 
  • People riding a motorbike could have an accident if suddenly soaked, so better don't throw water at them.
  • Avoid driving motorbikes during Songkran. 
  • Use four-wheeled public transportations or walk. 
  • Don't walk bare foots, as it might have broken glasses or sharp materials using for foods along the street.
  • Secure your valuables in your room and be mindful of any you take out with you. 
  • Avoid swallowing the water being sprayed at you – you don’t know where it came from! 
  • Wet tiled floors will be slippery, so be careful of your footing.
  • If you got a lot of greetings, got daubed on your cheeks as well as water splashed more often than your friends or partners... it means that you are very pretty or very handsome.


Photo by: Madeleine Deaton