As April rolls around, the people of Thailand prepare for one of their biggest and most exciting celebrations of the year: the Songkran festival. Also known as the Thai New Year, Songkran is a time for cleansing, renewal, and fun with family and friends.
The biggest and most important of Thailand’s annual festivals, the world-famous Songkran is a time when family comes first, respect is paid to seniors, and people visit the temples to take part in traditional ceremonies. It is officially observed as a three-day national holiday from 13-15 April, although there are some locations that stage unique local festivities a little later.
One of the most popular aspects of the Songkran festival is the water fights. Everywhere you go, people are armed with buckets, water guns, and hoses, and are more than happy to splash water on you. The tradition stems from the belief that water is a symbol of purification and cleansing, and the act of splashing it on others is a way to wash away bad luck and misfortunes from the past year.
But it's not just about water fights. Songkran is also a time to visit temples, offer prayers and make merit. In the mornings, locals will visit temples to perform traditional rituals such as pouring water on Buddha statues and offering food to the monks.
Another important aspect of the festival is the food. Thailand is known for its delicious cuisine, and during Songkran, people indulge in traditional dishes such as Khao Chae, a refreshing rice dish served with savoury side dishes and jasmine-scented water.
In addition to the water fights, temple visits, and food, there are also cultural performances and traditional games to enjoy during the festival. The atmosphere is one of joy and unity, as people come together to celebrate and welcome the new year.
If you're planning to visit Thailand during Songkran, be prepared to get wet and have a great time. It's a unique and unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss. Just remember to take precautions to protect your belongings and electronics from water damage.
The Songkran festival is a vibrant and colourful event that is an important part of Thai culture. In 2023, it will be a time for people to come together, celebrate, and create new memories with friends and family. So, whether you're a tourist or a local, get ready to join in the fun and festivities of Songkran!
Some of the key locations to celebrate Songkran in Thailand can be found on the Tourist Authority of Thailand website.
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