Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival. An important event on the Buddhist calendar, this water festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. This year, the holiday falls from Friday, April 13 to Sunday, April 15, 2018.
Each district throughout Thailand has its own unique traditions; from releasing birds and fish, to firecrackers, parades and the building of giant and elaborate sand sculptures. At some point, everyone pays a visit to the temple to pay respect to the local Buddha.
Festivities in Thailand’s major destinations will vary by date throughout Samut Prakan, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Chon Buri, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Phuket, and Songkhla, with some celebrations starting as early as April 7th, and running until April 20th.
Bangkok (April 12-15): The famous Phra Buddha Sihing image from the National Museum will be taken on a parade to be installed at Lumpini Park. Songkran Wisutkasat on Wisutkasat Road (Under the Rama XIII Bridge) is best known for being the origin of Miss Songkran Beauty contest in Thailand.
Ayutthaya (April 13-15): Thailand’s former capital is inviting both local and foreign tourists to celebrate Songkran in the most unusual and exotic way – water splashing with the elephants in the very Thai district of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya Historical Park. Mon Songkran of Ayutthaya can be seen in the Bang Pa-in district of Ayutthaya where a range of activities take place around the temple of Wat Thong Bo.
Chiang Mai (April 12-15): The best-known Songkran celebrations in the whole of Thailand take place in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Highlights include the procession of Chiang Mai’s prominent Phra Buddha Sihing image as well as bathing the image, and taking part in a parade bringing sand and Sal i(the Bodhi tree) clutches to temples, cultural events and performances.
In addition, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is also supporting the Songkran 2018 events in five emerging destinations known for unique traditions in celebrating the Thai New Year: Sing Buri, Chanthaburi, Kamphaeng Phet, Kalasin, and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Dates vary between April 11-17 and include nostalgic time-honored rituals.
Sing Buri: The celebration is centered around the ancient Ban Bang Rachan, an important settlement during the Ayutthaya period.
Chanthaburi: Wat Tapon Noi and Wat Kwien Hak hold a unique procession of decorated ox-carts parading the sacred cloth of the Buddha to warn off bad luck.
Kamphaeng Phet: This is where retro-traditions for Songkran are held along the Ping River, along with another Buddha image wrapping procession.
Kalasin: The Phrae Wa silk city and dinosaur excavation sites in Kalasin are prominently featured as its two time-honored symbols of the Songkran tradition.
Nakhon Si Thammarat: The religious element of the celebrations takes on a distinctly Hindu feel, with Brahmin ceremonies and rituals as well as the must-attend Nang Dan parade.
Will you be visiting Thailand for Songkran 2018?
Share your experiences on social media using #ThailandInsider!
For more details of Songkran activities in various locations throughout Thailand, please call the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or visit TATnews.org
The Tourism Authority of Thailand NY & LA offices proudly present the winner of the Songkran Drone Wars 2017, @gunnarolla Embed the following video: