Last Updated: May 31, 2021

What Is The Songkran Festival? (What Does It Mean)

Thailand is one of the best travel destinations in Asia,with beautiful beaches, lovely nightlife, fun-filled festivals and great attractions. One of the best times to visit Thailand is during the celebration of the Songkran Festival. The Songkran Festival, also known as the Traditional Thai New Year, is usually celebrated in mid-April. It is one of Thailand’s grandest and most important events.

The Songkran Festival is a time when family and friends gather to pay gratitude to elders and visit temples for prayer and offering. Songkran literally means to pass or move into. The Songkran Festival is an amazing event in Thailand which is used to welcome the New Year. During this period, you’ll enjoy fun-filled local entertainments and fun. Depending on which area within Thailand, the celebration can last between 3 to 10 days.


Songkran in Wat Po, Bangkok. (photo by Peter Gronemann, Wikicommons)

The Songkran Festival is also a period when the Thai people cleanse and pour water mixed with Thai fragrance on Buddha images. The festival also showcases a bathing ritual where the people pour water on the senior Buddhist monks. This process is believed to bring good luck to them. After that, the chief monk will give a sermon and bless those who attend this bathing ritual.

In some areas in Thailand, Buddha images are paraded from one street to the other, allowing Thai people to shower them with water. The young people pay gratitude and also show a sign of respect to elders in a sacred ritual, which involves pouring down scented water on their hands and also giving them new clothes.

This water festival in Thailand involves merry making, presenting offerings to monks, releasing birds and fishes into river, paying respect to elders, building sand pagodas, listening to sermons and, more importantly, splashing of water. This is believed to bring longevity, good health and prosperity.

Songkran Festival

Songkran, “Water War” at Chaweng Beach (Ko Samui). (photo by Per Meistrup, Wikicommons)

In order not to bring bad luck into the New Year, it is a tradition that all houses are completely cleaned a day before the celebration. The Songkran Festival is a period when Thai people splash water on themselves, which they believe will cause plenty of rainfall in the coming year. Water is used to cleanse themselves of those bad things and also a symbol of fertility.

As a tourist, you are presented with the opportunity of enjoying traditional Thai performances and know more about the history of Songkran. Other fun-filled activities include beauty contests, carnivals and parades. There are also several traditional foods to enjoy and great local sports activities.

In several cities across the country, locals celebrate the Songkran festival by splashing water over themselves with a word of blessing. Most young Thai people use pump-action water guns and pump buckets to soak themselves up.

This water festival is one of the most loved and popular events in Thailand. It is the festival that offers loads of excitement while welcoming the traditional Thai New Year with remarkable water splashes and getting all soaked up. The Songkran festival promises to be quite refreshing and fun.

Compared with other Thailand’s festival, Songkran is known to be the best.

Other things to see in Bangkok: Chatuchak Market

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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