Songkran Festival, Thailand’s 3 Day National Water Fight
Songkran or the Water Festival in Thailand is a 3-day water fight that celebrates the Thai’s New Year. It’s by far the most colorful and festive event in Thailand. Wanna be part of it? Here’s your Songkran 2018 guide.
What is Songkran Festival?
Songkran is the biggest festival in Thailand. Songkran 2018 takes place April 13th to 15th but the celebrations usually last about a week. The feast includes religious rituals, water gun battles, and wild parties. It’s a time for house cleaning, family reunions, and temple visits.
Translated from Sanskrit, Songkran means “to move forward”. One of the most important rituals during the celebrations is “Bathing the Buddha image”. Buddhist monks and ordinary people use a fragrant water to sprinkle it on a Buddha image.
Aside from the religious part, Songkran is a fun event that brings thousands of tourists to Thailand every year. People with water pistols loaded and buckets full of water wait for a victim. And once you are in the game, there is no escape. The more soaked you are, the more happy and prosperous your year will be.
Where to Celebrate Songkran 2018
Chiang Mai organizes the most spectacular celebrations. The parties are literally everywhere. However, popular water battle spots are Thapae Gate or Chiang Mai Gate as well as the canals and Ping river.
In Bangkok, the Silom street holds the best parties. The 5km street gathers thousands of young people every year. Even the local fire department take part in the fun, occasionally showering the crowd. Khao San Road is a common water fight site, too. Once in, you get out absolutely wet. There are multiple DJ stages that set the mood for the epic water fight.
As a popular beach destination, Phuket also strikes with wild parties. Songkran in Phuket includes a street parade and the Miss Songkran Beauty Show. All that abundantly sprinkled with water, of course. You can find the most intense water fight along Bangla Road.
Everything You Should Know About Songkran 2018
Songkran is a fun and exciting event. To have the best experience, you must admit one thing from the beginning – you are a target. Don’t get angry if someone offloads a bucket with water over your head. Just smile and try to empty your water pistol at them. Of course, a water fight requires proper clothing. It’s also important not to forget to protect valuable things like your phone and camera. Keep in mind that the battles typically start 1-2 days before Songkran.
Try to avoid driving if possible. The celebrations completely overtake the streets. Besides the traffic jams, there are drunk people everywhere and that increases chances for incidents.
April is the warmest month of the year in Thailand and the temperature can easily hit 40 degrees. While Songkran is a great way to cool you down, don’t swallow the water. That might cause some serious stomach problems.
Wake up early and enjoy the local rituals. See how locals make merit offering food to the monks and donating money to the temples. Join in a “Bathing the Buddha image” ritual, etc.
Many offices, banks, family shops and restaurants are closed during Songkran. If you need to buy equipment for the water fights, go to 7-Eleven or any shopping mall. Or just walkaround. Usually, there are merchants on the streets selling water guns.
The most important thing – have fun. Celebrating Songkran is a great opportunity to feel like a child again.