Songkran is Thailand’s annual New Year festival, and commonly known as Thailand’s water festival. Traditional Thai New Year takes place April 13th-15th, but in reality, almost the whole month of April is taken over by a mass celebration culminating with a momentous water fight during the actual new year. Wild scenes of exuberance can be seen throughout the Kingdom with music, dancing, and people drenched from head to toe. Water guns, hose pipes, buckets, in fact, anything you can get your hands on can be used to splash people, and one thing is for certain: you will get wet!
Although the focus of Songkran has shifted towards merriment and light-hearted activities, its celebrations are steeped in religious and spiritual rituals — many of which survive in different forms during the modern festivities. For the most part, Thai locals spend a portion of Songkran visiting Buddhist monasteries to pray and offer food or other gifts to Buddhist monks. In some regions of the country, people offer further reverence by constructing decorative mounds of sand inside of the temples, called “stupas.” Another heavily practiced ritual of Songkran is to thoroughly clean one’s home as the festivities approach, meant to ensure a fresh start to the New Year. Finally, long known as a festival of unity, Songkran still places much emphasis on the importance of family. Indeed, Thai individuals who have moved away from their families customarily return to their home during the celebrations to spend time with their close family and elders.
Yet, the most important of the ancient traditions of Songkran is the symbolic presence of water. In Thai culture, water is believed to purify the spirit, both cleansing the body of bad luck as well as blessing it with good fortune. During Songkran, locals would pour water over Buddha statues for cleansing purposes, then collect this water and re-use it to bless village elders and family members by sprinkling it onto their shoulders. Nowadays, however, this tradition of pouring water on others has been taken to the extreme in the form of Songkran’s world-famous water festival.
Where to Celebrate Songkran in 2017
The Songkran festival activities will take place in Bangkok and thirteen different areas throughout the country: Chiang Mai, Lampang, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Nongkhai, Supanburi, Ayutthaya, Chonburi, Samut Prakarn, Songkla, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Phuket.
Songkran Festival 2017 in Thailand will start at the April 1-23, 2017.
Here are the events of the Thai new year that you can enjoy this year:
Songkran in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakarn
Date: 21 – 23 April 2017
Venue: Around Phra Pradaeng Municipality Building, Samut Prakarn
Songkran Splendors, Sukhothai
Date: 7-20 April 2017
Songkran in Chiang Mai: Paweni Pi Mai Muang 2017
Date : 1 – 15 April 2016
Venue : Chiang Mai Town, Chiang Mai
View full Chiang Mai schedule here.
Salung Luang Songkran Festival in Lampang
Date : 9 – 13 April 2017
Venue : Khelang Nakorn Park, Tha Kraw Noi Rd, Mueang Lampang, Lampang
Pleasant Songkran, Thailand-Laos’ New Year, Nakhon Phanom
Date: 13 – 15 April 2017
Venue: Khao – poon road and Laan Phanom Naga, Muang District, NakhonPhanom
Isan Dok Khun Siang Khaen Songkran Festival 2017 and Khao Niew Road
Date: 5 – 15 April 2017
Venue: KhaoNiew Road (Sri Chan Road), and Beungkaennakorn, KhonKaen
Nakhon Sri Thammarat
Songkran ‘Nang Dan’ Parade, Nakhon Sri Thammarat
Date: 11-15 April 2017
Venue: Sri Thammasokarat Park and Phra Isuan (Shiva) Tower, Muang District, Nakhon Sri Thammarat
Songkran in the Ancient Capital City, Ayutthaya
Date : 13-15 April 2017
Venue: Si Sanphet Road in front of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ayutthaya office
Songkran Splendors, Supanburi 2017
Date:13 -14 April 2017
Venue: Muang Supanburi District Office, Muang Supanburi District
Grand Songkran Esan Nongkhai, Nongkhai
Date: 5 – 18 April 2017
Venue: Jane Job Road, Naga Fountain Square, Prachak Road, and Wat Pho Chai (Royal Temple) in Muang District, NongKhai
Sand Pagoda Ceremony on Lai Day, Bangsan District, Chonburi
Date: 16 – 17 April 2017
Venue: Bangsan beach, Muang Sub-district, Chonburi
Songkran : The Water Festival on the Beach
Date: 11-13 April 2017
Venue: Patong Beach, Kathu District, Phuket
Hat Yai Midnight Songkran 2017, Songkhla
Date: 11-13 April 2017
Venue: NipatUthit 3 Street, Sanehanusorn Road, Thammanoonwithi Road, Mahatta Mangkhalaram Temple (Hat Yai Temple), Hat Yai District, Songkhl
Songkran in Bangkok
Date : 8 – 13 April 2017, 12.00 – 20.00 hrs.
Venue: Benjasiri Park, Bangkok
Songkran 2017 gets off a great start with Amazing Songkran Joyful processions staged in the heart of Bangkok on April 8, 2017 at 17.30 – 20.30 hrs.
The Amazing Songkran Joyful parades will go along Sukhumvit Road, starting from Phrom Phong Junction and finishing at Pathum Wan Intersection. The processions will showcase Thailand’s cultural diversity and the heritage of each region, the legend of Songkran Goddesses (Nang Songkran), and the story of Thai flowers in different regions of the kingdom. Spectators will have the amazing experience to learn how the Songkran celebration has changed over the years and from region to region. The processions are divided into six parts;
The first parade will showcase the symbol of Amazing Songkran 2017 with the show called “Amazing Blossom of Siam”.
The second parade will focus on Songkran Goddess, which is named differently depending on the day of thr Great Songkran falls on each year. This year is honoured by the Thursday lady, whose name is “Kirini Devi”, wears Magnolia flowers behind her ears. Her gem is emerald and she prefers nuts and sesame seeds. She has a hook and a bow as her attributes, riding on an elephant, which is predicted that this year will be productive, prosperous and healthy. There will be showcase of The Amazing Songkran Show.
The third parade will highlight the amazing colourful floral parades of Songkran myths and traditions from five regions of Thailand, showcasing not only the different ways of celebrations, but also the story of Thai flora representing in each region too. The procession involves;
Southern region: Dala Ngam-ta Loi Khro Long Le (Torch Gingre Flower)
Central region: Hom Klin Mali Champa Sao Thin Thai Ngam (Jasmine & Champak)
Eastern region: Dao Rueng Bang Saen Aum Ruk Long Sichang (Marigold)
North – Eastern region: Siang Khaen Dok Khun Ban Hao (Golden Shower)
Northern region: Tong Kwao Ngam-ta Pee Mai Muang (Bustard Teak)
The fourth parade will display the earth of green Songkran by IRPC. There will be The Green Earth Queen and the industrial members from all over the country with the parade of decorated electric cars and “the earth of green Songkran show”.
The fifth parade will offer The Songkran traditions of Thailand’s neighbor countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. The parades aim at strengthening the relationship between Thailand and neighboring countries and sharing cultures.
Finally, the sixth parade will showcase the varieties of distinctive local cars from many parts of Thailand.
Amazing Songkran Experience Festival 2017
Amazing Songkran Experience Festival 2017 will take place at Benjasiri Park in Bangkok on April 8 – 13, 2017 from 12.00 to 20.00 hrs. The event will showcase the unique local experiences and provide an insight into some of the fascinating Sonkran traditions from every part of Thailand. The festival is divided into four zones, each of which is packed with demonstrations of local culture, and cuisine. The four zones at Amazing Songkran Experience festival 2017 include:
Zone 1: The tourists will get the chance to appreciate the more spiritual side of Songkran by being blessed by pouring water to the buddha image on Mont Meru. There will be the demonstration of paying respect to elders by pouring water from five regions of the country and The workshop activities on making Thai scented water, scented flour bunch and Thai pot – pourri, dried flowers.
Zone 2: Discover Songkran Celebration in Five Regions: Every region in the country will celebrate the Songkran festival. This zone will gather a variety of myths, cultures, and traditions, representing each region of Thailand. This zone includes;
The northern region calls their Songkran festivals as “Pee Mai Muang”, demonstrating local Lanna women riding a Kang Chong (a Northern vehicle) and There are also showcases of the northern handicrafts.
The northeasterners handle Songkran Festival in the simple and warm way. They call Songkran as “Boon Duen Ha” or the 5th month merit.
The central region will offer Songkran in Phra Pradaeng, where is one of the few places in Thailand that celebrates the Songkran Festival in the Thai-Mon style. Visitors will have the opportunity to take photos with “Loy Chai Boy”, men who dressed in traditional Raman costume.
The southern region will showcase the celebration in the fishermen style and demonstation of how to make flower timber leave and Crescent Kite.
The eastern region will represent Sri Maharaja Songkran Festival in Chonburi Province. The observance of the ‘kong khao’ religious ritual and other customs related to the celebration of the Thai New Year.
In addition, there will be the selfie zone for visitors to wear Thai costumes and take photos.
Zone 3: Unique Culinary Delights: This zone will offer food and desserts from all five regions for example, rice in ice water or Khao Chae. This will enable visitors to get a taste of the vibrancy and variety of the kingdom’s cuisine.
Zone 4: Amazing Songkran Main Stage: There will be many cultural performances and local edutainment activities from five regions of Thailand, for example, Thai Blind Boxing or Muay Tub Jak and Thai chilli paste making. Miss Amazing Songkran International Beauty Contest will be held on April 13, 2017. The six-day event will showcase the unique local experiences.
For more information, please contact Tourism Authority of Thailand, 0 2250 5500 ext. 3470-3 or at TAT CALL CENTER 1672