Songkran | Water battle for the Thai New Year
The Thais celebrate the New Year’s Day on January 1st just like we do. The traditional New Year doesn’t take place until the middle of April from April 13th. – April 15th. Fresh from my stay in the silent monastery I was able to experience the most famous wet festival in Thailand on Koh Tao.
How is Songkran celebrated?
The traditional Thai New Year is launched as a giant water festival. If you are in Thailand at the time, be prepared that you will definitely get wet. And I’m talking about you really being soaked from top to bottom.
In the past, family members in Thailand only splashed each other with a few drops of water to wash away the misfortune from last year symbolically. In the meantime, traditional cleaning has turned into a nationwide water battle with buckets and water pistols.
However, at this fun event you should know as a tourist that the emphasis is on the appreciation of the family and, above all, that time is spent with relatives in the hometown. In the Buddhist temples, the water is poured onto the Buddha images and the hands of the monks as a sign of respect. Accordingly, you should always show sufficient respect for one another during the wet celebrations.
Bangkok – Phuket – Chiang Mai
The Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival is celebrated in the Thai capital for three days. The official opening ceremony takes place in the Buddhist temple Wat Pho. If you can handle large crowds, a visit to Khoa San Road and the hotspot Silom Road is definitely worthwhile. Foreign tourists in particular look forward to the festivities, various performances, traditional dishes and of course lots of alcohol.
There is also no way to stay dry on the tourist island of Phuket. Regardless of Songkran, there is generally a lot of celebrations on every corner (three days were enough for me). For the New Year, the party in the areas such as Patong Beach is increased again. A huge crazy party!
Chiang Mai is another popular place for Songkran. The focus here is on traditional performances, cultural processions and street food. Nevertheless, there is of course the usual water throwing, which turns into a huge water battle.
Good to know
- The roads in Thailand are wet and slippery! If you are traveling with a scooter, you should be very careful.
- It is best to leave your own valuables such as credit cards, documents, cell phones, cameras at home (if you want to take photos, you can alternatively buy waterproof protective covers for cell phones/cameras at every corner).
- All accommodations are booked up faster or increase their prices in many regions.
- Definitely get a big water gun or stand as we did on the side of the locals at a water tank and bomb the other tourists! (:
- Cool, useful goodie for the real fighters: water protection glasses!
- You shouldn’t spill water on monks or older people.
- It’s best to wear old clothes (or just none) – you are often unexpectedly but lovingly decorated with color powder!
- Those who don’t like to meet tourists who are heavily drunk and too festive should only visit the areas such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket again after the festival.
You definitely cannot avoid getting wet. So just let yourself be carried away by the good mood of the Thai people, enjoy cooling off in the hot temperatures, always fill up the tank of your water gun properly and have a lot of fun!
Lots of Love ♥
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