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SONGKRAN WATER FESTIVAL IN THAILAND 2024

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WHAT IS SONGKRAN FESTIVAL?

The Thai water festival, Songkran (สงกรานต์), is a traditional Thai New Year celebration, occurring from April 13th to 15th every year. This festival marks the end of the old year and welcomes the new year according to the Buddhist calendar. During this festival, people splash water on each other and their elders to show respect and wish each other good fortune. In 2024, the Songkran Water Festival takes place on April 13-14, and tourists can visit Thailand during this time to participate in this cultural celebration.

ORIGINS OF SONGKRAN FESTIVAL

In Pali, “Songkran” means “transition” or “renewal.” This festival is believed to have originated in India, where people celebrate the New Year by splashing water on each other. It purposes to wash away the misfortunes of the old year and to usher in good luck for the new year. According to legend, one of the most popular myths is about the deity Indra, the god of thunder and rain. In addition, every year on April 13th, Indra descends to Earth to bathe the Buddha. In the past, the Thai New Year was celebrated on the first day of the lunar month. Recently, the festival is in its fifth month. Songkran is also a transition between the old and the new year, a time to wash away the misfortunes of the past year and welcome a new year full of luck, security, and prosperity.

SIGNIFICANCE OF SONGKRAN FESTIVAL

The Songkran water festival symbolizes purification, washing away the misfortunes of the old year, and welcoming a new year full of luck. Water used in the festival symbolizes purity, cleansing, and bringing new life. It is also an occasion for families and communities to come together, wishing each other good things for the new year. Nowadays, Songkran is a festival that attracts tourists from all over the world. Visitors to Thailand during this time can participate in water splashing activities, and parades, and enjoy traditional cuisine.

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL LOCATIONS IN THAILAND 2024

The Songkran water festival is held in major cities of Thailand. You can consider some of the following locations to participate in this festival:

Chiang Mai



Chiangmai is the origin of water festival, so the celebration here is lively and grand. When you visit Chiang Mai, you can witness the procession of Buddha statues around the city, often with the route being Nawarat Bridge – Thapae Gate – various streets, and the final destination being Wat Prasingh Temple. You can arrive in Chiang Mai from April 12th when the locals are already preparing for the Songkran festival.

Bangkok

Bangkok is known for its vibrant atmosphere, and the Songkran water festival here offers many unique and exciting experiences. Even if it’s your first time here, you won’t ever feel lost because Bangkok’s streets are always bustling, especially with many foreign tourists. Areas around Banglamphu, Phra Athit Road, Santhichaiprakan, Wisut Krasat, Rattanakosin Square, or Khao San Road are where spontaneous water splashing activities take place joyfully.

Pattaya

A unique feature of Songkran in Pattaya is the hosting of the Miss Songkran beauty and talent competition. You can visit the Songkran Water Festival in Pattaya, which is held after the main holiday from April 18th to April 20th.

Phuket

The famous coastal city of Phuket is also an attractive destination for the Thai Songkran water festival this year. Atmosphere here is always lively and bustling long the streets and beaches such as Soi Bangla, Patong, etc. There are even some “giant” water-splashing events involving elephants and fire trucks.

Hua Hin

The Songkran water festival here takes place on April 13th only, with a procession celebrating the Songkran festival on Nares Dantri Road. Tourists will join locals in this procession, as it’s not only a traditional ceremony here but also uniquely grand – a travel experience not to be missed.

If you happen to be in Bangkok during the Songkran festival, you can visit the following places to join the Songkran festival in 2024:

  • Maha Songkran World Festival: from April 11th to 15th at Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue and Sanam Luang Park.
  • Songkran Music Bazaar: from April 11th to 15th, at Ratchadaphisek.
  • Siam Songkran Music Festival: from April 12th to 15th, at RCA Central Park.
  • Samyan Water Street: from April 13th to 15th, at Samyan-Buntudthong.
  • S2O Songkran Music Festival: from April 13th to 15th, at Rama 9 Live Park.
  • Silom and Khaosan are spontaneous play areas. This year, the provinces organize festivities on different days, almost throughout April.

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 2024 HIGHLIGHTS

There are many traditional activities during this festival such as water splashing, cleaning houses and performing religious deeds at temples. Thai people will pour a bowl of water over their loved ones, symbolizing respect and wishing for luck in the new year. People use water guns, buckets, cups, or hoses to “attack” each other on the streets or beaches.

Main activities in the Traditional Songkran Festival

Day 1 – Song Nam Phra: The highlight of the festival, with fierce water battles using water guns throughout the day and Buddha statue processions across Thailand.

Day 2 – Wan Nao: A day for cleaning houses and temples, as well as buying flowers and decorations for the next day.

Day 3 – Wan Thaloeng Sok: Last day for participating in religious ceremonies at temples, meeting and blessing family and friends. They are as well as join in the lively music parties on the streets and beaches.

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN PARTICIPATING IN THE SONGKRAN WATER FESTIVAL 2024?

  • Wear quick-drying clothes (such as gym attire) to keep yourself comfortable when playing with water and avoid feeling uncomfortable when your body gets wet.
  • Prepare a waterproof bag to prevent your belongings, especially electronic devices, from getting wet.
  • Equip yourself for battle: Don’t forget to get a large water gun to join the battle and have fun with everyone here.
  • Avoid drinking water from pre-opened bottles: These are often recycled and may cause stomachaches or food poisoning.
  • Choose appropriate footwear such as sandals or waterproof shoes to keep your feet from getting soaked in the “pool”.
  • Learn to say “Happy New Year” in Thai: Songkran is a water-splashing festival that holds significant cultural importance in Thai Buddhism. It’s a festival to celebrate the New Year and prepare for new beginnings. You can greet people with warm wishes such as: “sà-wàt-dii bpii mài. (sawadee bpee mai)”.

If you have the opportunity to visit Thailand, you can also spend more time here exploring famous landmarks, traditional cuisine, and the lifestyle.

As long as you’re already familiar with traditional tourist activities or have visited Thailand before, you can choose to explore the local culture and experience the local way of life. To ensure your trip is complete, contact and book a comprehensive tour through Asianway Travel for the best options without worrying about booking tickets or scheduling.

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