Undoubtedly, Songkran is the biggest and most famous in Thailand. An important Buddhist calendar event, Songkran water festival also marks the start of the traditional Thai New Year.
Translated, the Sanskrit word ‘Songkran’ means ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’. Songkran Festival in Phuket and all over Thailand, is celebrated annually from 13th to 15th April. Thousands of holiday makers flock to Thailand to celebrate the Thai New Year alongside the Thai people. As it’s such an amazing time to be in Thailand and also lots of fun with water fights in major streets and towns, roads are closed off to ensure a safe celebration for all.
Celebrating with a water fight
So what is Songkran?
The Songkran Festival celebration is rich with symbolic traditions – visits to local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks is commonly practiced. On this special occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday as it represents purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. You will see Buddha statues outside the main supermarkets during this period allowing all to be involved with this beautiful ceremony. Some places you can release fish in to lakes as a mark of good luck for the Thai New Year.
This is a festival to bring families together so those who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and family. As a way to show respect, younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands. Paying respect to ancestors is also an major part of Songkran Festival tradition.
In Phuket on 13th April, Songkran begins early in the morning. The ensuing water fight snowballs in size peaking during the afternoon, finally petering out late evening time, until next year anyway.
The Songkran Festival is known for it being a ‘water festival’ where all ages celebrate in the streets with water guns and other means of pouring on water on others. Major streets are closed for traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. It’s an amazing day to celebrate in Thailand, an opportunity to meet new friends and observe the Thai culture.
If you’re in Thailand celebrating, we wish you a wonderful day! And if you’re thinking about booking a holiday to Thailand you won’t be sorry coming at this time of year.