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  • Songkran 2024

    Thailand Public Holidays
    04-13-2024 02:00 PM
    04-16-2024 03:00 PM
    Thailand Holidays

  • #2
    Everything you need to know about Songkran

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Songkran-Festival-FAQ.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	775.3 KB ID:	898

    Thailand celebrates its New Year every April with the world’s wettest festival, Songkran. It is the world’s largest water festival, when everyone, including children, adults, friends, and strangers, gathers to get soaked. Although it’s widely known as the ‘Water Festival’ among foreigners, Songkran is actually deeply rooted in traditions. In fact, it’s one of the most important events in the Buddhist calendar. So, what is Songkran, and what should you do during the festival? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the fun celebration!

    What is Songkran?
    Songkran is a celebration that marks the start of the Thai New Year. It’s very important to both the culture and the religion of Thailand. The festival is all about purification, cleaning, and having a fresh start. To prepare for the holiday, the statues of Buddha are bathed with flower water, and houses are cleaned. In addition, younger Thais honours monks and elders by gently washing their hands with water in a respectful manner. Another key Songkran tradition is carrying sand to the local temple. Thai people will spend the holiday by spending time with their families, visiting temples, leaving offerings, carrying out processions through the streets, and honouring their ancestors. The true Songkran tradition is to sprinkling water on others. However, it has transformed as locals and travellers use buckets and water guns to take the festival to a whole other level and make it into a massive water fight. In Thai tradition to soaking people with water is a symbol of cleaning bad actions and thoughts. During Songkran, the splashing of water is believed to bring good health, prosperity, longevity, and good luck. Although Songkran is more popular for its water fights, parades, dancing, and folk entertainment are part of the festival as well.

    When is Songkran celebrated?
    The exact dates of Songkran traditionally fluctuated according to the Thai calendar, which is dictated by the lunar calendar. The dates, however, are now fixed, and the holiday runs from April 13 to April 15. The festival officially starts early morning in April 13 with opening ceremonies. The festival is officially only three days long, but it could actually last from anywhere between 3 to 10 days, depending on where you are in the country.

    Where is Songkran celebrated in Thailand?
    Songkran is celebrated all across Thailand. Most big cities have robust Songkran celebrations that are bigger than in smaller towns. Also, the festival tends to last longer the further north you go. In the northern city of Chiang Mai, for example, the festival can last for as long as a week.
    • Chiang Mai
      Chiang Mai hosts most of the famous Songkran festivities. The epicentre of the water festival in the city is around Tha Phae Gate. Here, people fill their water guns and buckets using hoses or moats that bars provide. You’ll also be able to watch the parade of Buddha statues carried through the main gate. The statues are to be washed in a religious ceremony. Other cultural celebrations, traditional performances, and street food are all part of Songkran in Chiang Mai.
    • Bangkok
      Although Songkran lasts longer in Chiang Mai, many people argue that the festival is more fun in Bangkok. The capital has numerous spots where you can join and celebrate Songkran. Khao San Road is one of the most popular spots, both among foreigners and local Thais. Here, you can participate in a huge street party filled with water and alcohol. It’s crowded and frenetic, with loud music blaring from the bars. Silom Road is also a popular spot for Songkran. It typically attracts more local Thais than Khao San Road. If you want a more chilled and family-friendly Songkran experience, Siam Square is the place for you and the official ceremony is normally held at Wat Pho.
    • Phuket
      Phuket is also buzzing with festivities during Songkran, particularly in the Patong Beach area. The streets are filled with pickup trucks throwing water at everyone, tourists and locals alike. The celebrations continue well into the wee hours along Bangla Road. In Phuket Town, the festivities are mainly held around Saphan Hin Park. Here, you can enjoy traditional performances and live music.
    • Koh Samui
      In Koh Samui, Songkran typically only lasts for a day, but it’s fun nonetheless. The celebrations in Koh Samui kick off in Chaweng. You can expect street parties with DJs and buzzing crowds. Songkran is usually celebrated more traditionally in smaller towns. The celebrations tend to focus on temple activities. If you want to experience a more traditional Songkran festival, consider going to Isaan in the northern part of Thailand. Remember that Songkran is taken seriously throughout Thailand. Therefore, regardless of your location, you’ll be in for a good time.
    What to do during Songkran for foreigners
    While Songkran has a significant meaning and importance to Thai people, foreigners are always welcome to join in the celebrations. So, be prepared to get soaked and have fun! Here’s what you can do during Songkran to make the most out of it:

    Protect your phone and other valuables
    It’s important that you purchase a small waterproof bag or a ziplock to keep your phones and valuables dry during the water fight. Songkran has led to the destruction of many cameras and phones, so make sure you waterproof all your devices. If you want to scroll through your phone or take pictures with it, there are many touch-screen waterproof bags that allow you to use your phone. If you can, leave all valuables at your hotel and only carry with you what is really necessary.

    Wear proper clothes and shoes
    Since you’re going to be wet, choosing your clothes wisely is essential. It’s best to wear light and fast dry fabrics that can get dirty. Also, be sure to avoid clothing that appears “suggestive” when soaked with water. See-through shirts, white clothing, and crop tops are best avoided. You can wear flip-flops. However, it’s better to wear something that lets you walk on slippery streets safely and protect your feet. If you don’t want to keep wiping your eyes, be sure to wear goggles to protect them.

    Get ready to have water fights and plan to get wet
    Everybody has either water guns, buckets, garden hoses, or even kitchen bowls. So make sure you bring something to splash and soak others. Also, get ready to be soaked when you’re outdoors. There’s no escape – no matter what items you carry or how much you plead, you could be attacked with water.

    Respect people and places
    Keep in mind that the water fight happens on the streets. If you come across shops or markets that stay open during the holiday, be sure to respect them. Avoid splashing water indoors and always be polite. You should also avoid splashing people who are working – not everyone can participate in the water fight. Additionally, bear in mind that Songkran is a religious festival, so you should stay out of the way of worshipers. If you decide to visit a temple, always be respectful.

    Learn how to say “happy new year” in Thai
    The traditional way to make peace after splashing someone and wish them well at Songkran is to say Sawasdee Pee Mai!. It means happy new year in the Thai language. Make sure to always smile and be nice too. You are likely to hear suk san wan Songkran as well, which means “happy Songkran day.”

    Just have fun!
    There’s no malice involved in Songkran. Therefore, if you want to avoid getting wet but someone pours water on you, just go with it. Yes, it can be annoying to constantly have water dumped over your head, especially after the first day. However, it’s the holiday, so just embrace it and have fun! If you really want to avoid getting wet, it’s best that you hide indoors.

    Stay alert when crossing the road
    Drunk driving is a big problem during Songkran. Therefore, always be careful when crossing the road or standing at intersections since pedestrians can be hit by vehicles.

    Ride your motorbike with precaution
    Riding a motorcycle during the Songkran Festival is very dangerous. The roads are wet, slippery, and bustling. Accident rates are higher during the festival. Therefore, if you really have to ride your motorbike, make sure to ride it with precaution. Always ride slowly and wear your helmet. Also, it’s okay to stop and get water to slash on.

    What NOT to do during Songkran for foreigners
    It’s easy to get lost in the excitement, but the festival does come with some caveats when it comes to safety. It’s true that the festival is about having fun. However, there are some things you need to bear in mind so you can make the most out of it.

    Don’t splash water on Monks, the elderly, and babies
    Remember that monks are revered figures in Thailand. Hence, splashing a monk is always off-limits. Shooting water to elderly people, pregnant women, and babies is also a big no-no. Therefore, always pay attention to the person before you’re throwing water at them. If you get too carried away and do it by mistake, make sure to apologize immediately.

    Don’t be a bully
    Carrying a plastic water gun can embolden some people, but don’t use the festival as an excuse to act like a bully. Things can get really ugly if you don’t mind the power of your water gun. Be gentle when splashing water at others and avoid shooting water into people’s eyes. Additionally, you shouldn’t splash people after sundown.

    Don’t take off your shirt
    You can get arrested and charged with public obscenity if you take off your shirt or dress indecently. Yes, you’re wet, and it may seem okay to remove your shirt but remember that you’re in Thailand, and the culture is different.

    Don’t pay for water
    Some people will try to charge you to refill your water gun or buckets, but be sure to ignore them. There are many people who share water for free.

    Don’t drink the water
    The water is fresh and clean, but it’s typically not potable. Therefore, avoid swallowing water during the festival.

    Other Songkran traditions you need to know
    Along with splashing water to others, it’s a tradition to paste a powder known as din sor pong to others in some regions. It’s natural talc that has been used to protect yourself against the sun. The powder is typically stroked gently on the forehead or cheeks. It’s used as a way of wishing good luck. Don’t worry about the paste staining your clothes as it’s water-soluble. Some people might also tie sai sin or blessed stings to others’ wrists as part of Songkran traditions. If someone who’s holding a string approaches you, extend your wrists with the palm facing up. They will tie the string and say a short blessing to you. Traditionally, you have to leave it on until it fall off on its own. However, if it becomes too dirty to wear, you can untie them. If you’re planning to join Songkran in Thailand or you will be in the country during this time, we hope that this guide has given you some insights into the festival and prepared you for what you can expect from the celebration. There was a lot less water in 2021’s Songkran due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The festival focused more on the traditional side as people were encouraged to wear Thai dresses or colourful shirts. Let’s hope the situation gets better so we can all enjoy water fights again!


    • #3
      How to spend Songkran Holidays at Hua Hin

      Are you looking for your ideal getaway for the upcoming Songkran Holidays? Do you fancy an escape to the beach? Hua Hin is a fantastic destination to visit in Thailand to celebrate Songkran. It is the nearest beach to Bangkok, only 3-4 hours drive away. So, save yourself some valuable time and travel expenses. Hua Hin is also a popular beach getaway for Thais. So get ready for a culturally rich Songkran celebration and see how locals celebrate this unique time in Thailand. Even though the authorities have banned water fights and foam parties due to the rise in Covid-19 cases this year, there are plenty of activities to indulge in! Let us show you how you can celebrate the Songkran festival in Hua Hin!

      Visit the temples to follow Songkran tradition.

      The Songkran festival revolves around the element of water. Why? This is because water symbolises cleanliness and purity in Thai culture. Water is poured each other on Songkran, the Thai New Year, to cleanse you of negativity from the past year while blessing you with happiness for the following year. This brings us to a prominent Thai culture in Thailand- visiting local temples to bathe the Buddha statue to gain merit. Hua Hin has serene and beautiful temples you can visit to perform the deed. Wat Hua Hin, also known as Wat Ampharam, is located in the centre of the town and is the primary worship destination for many locals and tourists. Another popular destination is Wat Huay Mongkol, honouring a large Buddha image of Luang Phor Tuad, the revered Buddhist monk. The temple has a park-like setting with a lake, waterfalls, streams, pavilions, bridges and places to sit and be in the moment. Or you can go to the Khao Takiab Temple (called the Monkey Temple), which is located on the top of a hill. You might come across monkeys as you climb up the hill. And let the view of Hua Hin sink in once you get to the top!

      Celebrate Songkran like a local.

      What better way to celebrate Songkran in Hua Hin than celebrating like a local? Hua Hin Municipality has announced this year’s Songkran schedulein Hua Hin. The event’s theme is “Travel the local way, experience Thai culture, and relax on the beach”. Yes, you guessed it. The event is held right on the sandy beach of Hua Hin. The three-day celebration, spanning April 11 to April 13, is quite eventful! Start the first day participating in the sand pagoda building contest to win some prize money and end it dancing to retro Thai music. Have you ever played Thai folk games? On the second day, join the local community, loosen up, and have fun playing local folk games! Wrap up your Songkran celebration by joining the tradition of pouring scented water on the hands of revered elders and asking for blessings on the last day.

      Don’t miss out on the water fun!

      Even though you cannot have water wars on the streets this year, you don’t have to miss out on the fun! Why don’t you visit the waterpark? Or better, Asia’s first water jungle! Black Mountain Water Park is a vast water park boasting a 17-meter high tower with nine different slides, a spectacular wave pool making giant waves, a lazy river, a beach infinity pool and a children’s pool for well-rounded family fun. If you are looking for a new waterpark experience, you have the visit Vana Nava- Asia’s first water jungle! What’s hidden in the tropical jungle surroundings is the world’s best rides guaranteed to give you the rush of adrenaline you’ve been yearning for.

      Do your palate a favour.

      You know you cannot go wrong with a scrumptious meal with loved ones. Hua Hin has the best food destinations to put a cherry on top of your Songkran celebration. Travelling to the seaside town, you have to have the taste of the ocean. Book a table at Big Fish & Bar Hua Hin and indulge in award-winning meals as you overlook the stunning blue sea.

      Another destination for you is the Monsoon Valley, a huge vineyard producing exquisite Thai wine. Have a wholesome dining experience with dishes made from self-grown organic ingredients as you overlook the seemingly endless fields and hills. The Harvest Festival also coincides with the first day of Songkran. For just 390 Baht, you can join the vineyard tour, pick grapes, try grape stomping and even create grape scented wax! Plan a perfect day out with your family at the Monsoon Valley!

      This is how you can have a great time during Songkran in Hua Hin without missing out on the festivities! Of course, the beach town’s capabilities are limitless. If you want to have a relaxing and slow-paced Songkran celebration with your family and friends, Hua Hin is the place to go.


      • #4
        Planning a trip to Phuket this Songkran 2022? Here are some tips

        Despite the fact that water splashing has been banned once again this year, Phuket is a great spot to visit this summer because it provides great tours, fantastic shopping, and entertaining activities. So, if you’re planning a trip to Phuket in April, here are some tips.

        1. Book your flight and hotel as soon as possible

        Phuket is one of the best places in Thailand to be during Songkran. However, since Songkran is one of the most important annual events in the country, lots of people tend to travel during this time. Flights and accommodations tend to sell out early, and rates tend to increase in price as the Songkran approaches. As a result, if you’re intending on visiting Phuket for Songkran, it’s essential to book your flight and hotel as soon as possible to receive the best rates. If you are intending to travel with family, then we’d recommend Sunwing, a family-friendly resort located 200 meters from Kamala Beach. It offers excellent water features, including seven pools and waterslides that will keep the kids entertained all day. The resort’s family-friendly attractions include “Play & Splash” pool games, water polo, and acrobatic/magic performances. A playground and a kids’ club are also available. Ozo Phuket on the other hand is another great family-friendly resort located only 150 metres from Kata beach. The resort has a nice pool with kids’ waterslides and HIIT style gym. Furthermore, it is also only a few minutes walk to Kata night market and other awesome attractions. So if you are looking for a relaxing time at the resort at Kata Beach or swim a few laps or re-fuel at EAT with your friends or family, OZO Phuket is the right place to have fun. Songkran 2022

        2. Pack light

        The months of March, April, May, and June are very hot. As you may expect, the humidity is strong here as well, so be prepared. Lightweight natural fabrics are preferred, and long pants and long-sleeved shirts are recommended to keep insects at bay. Also, wear plenty of good sunscreens sunhats and good sunglasses. S
        ongkran 2022

        3. Getting around

        Transportation in Phuket is expensive so therefore it’s ideal to stay in areas where shops, restaurants, and a beach are within walking distance. However, if you plan on moving about a lot and are travelling with more than one person, then renting a car would be a good option. If you follow a few simple criteria, finding a car rental company is simple and hassle-free. To avoid unpleasant surprises, we recommend making a reservation with a reputable car rental company.
        ongkran 222

        4. What to do in Phuket

        Attend the Songkran Marina Festival
        Come join the splash party at Songkran Marina Festival! On April 13, the Town Square at Royal Phuket Marina will be transformed into a Sanuk (Fun) water combat arena. As Dj Chozie sets the beat, enjoy the games, food, and lucky draw prizes. Furthermore, Angel Market will also be setting up shop with all of your favourite Thai dishes and drinks, so bring your friends and family down to RPM’s Songkran Marina Festival for a fun day!
        Songkran 2022

        Get wet at one of the Phuket Waterparks
        If there’s one thing that summer brings, it’s fun at water parks. If you want to enjoy Songkran by swirling in a frenzy of excitement before plunging into the water then Blue Tree is the place to be. However, if you are looking for more of a chill session, you can simply relax by the grand pool while sipping your favourite beverage. You’ll never run out of things to do here because Blue Tree offers plenty of entertainment and adventure. Your kids would love it!

        Island Tours
        Phuket is surrounded by a plethora of islands that are just waiting to be discovered. Some destinations are easily accessible by boat, while others require some planning and effort. As a result, participating in the top Phuket island excursions will certainly enhance and simplify your holiday. You could go Sea Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, hike up to Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint, explore caves or go for a snorkelling tour and discover the beautiful marine life. Songkran 2022

        Visit nice cafes
        Some of the best sunset spots in the world are in Phuket. Sunsets can be seen from most of the beaches on the west coast, but the best way to appreciate them is to do so while sipping a refreshing drink. Some of the great places to chill in Phuket are Kata Rocks, Cape Sienna and Blue Harbour Cafe. The Blue Harbour Cafe is a cosy little cafe that offers a stunning view of Tri Trang Beach. It’s a great place to relax while sipping their fantastic cold coffee!

        Bathe with elephants
        Get up close and personal with elephants like you have never experienced before at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket. Here, elephants can be free, without the risk of handlers reprimanding them. Throughout your visit there, you will be feeding, bathing and playing with the animals. The package deal includes two traditional Thai buffet meals, water and food for feeding the elephants. The price you pay helps to support future elephant rescues.

        Play Golf
        Phuket is home to a collection of excellent golf courses, all of which were designed to take advantage of the island’s tropical environments and unique topography. So if you are a golf lover, you can play golf at these stunning landscaped courses surrounded by tropical trees and vibrant floras. Loch Palm Golf Club and Red Mountain are voted amongst Thailand’s finest golf courses. Tinidee Golf Resort Phuket is an excellent hotel located near both Loch Palm and Red Mountain Golf Club.

        Phuket is a great spot to visit during Songkran since there are so many interesting things to engage in. Island tours, waterparks, elephant sanctuaries, and exotic beaches are just a few of the destinations to visit. Whatever your vacation plans, a journey to this part of Thailand will surely give you unforgettable memories. Songkran is a popular holiday season, and fares tend to rise as the festival approaches. It is, however, recommended that you make your bookings in advance. Song


        • #5
          The Story of Songkran – All about the Thai New Year

          Songkran, or the Thai New Year, is the the largest and most famous of Thailand’s many traditional festivals. Known for huge water fights and water blessing ceremonies, it’s been celebrated for centuries and is rich in culture and tradition. Every year, the celebrations begin on April 13 and normally last three days until the 15th of April.

          The name was inherited from ancient Sanskrit, a language that dates back thousands of years. Songkran combines the words “Song” and “Krant” and refers to the sun beginning a new Zodiac sign. Songkran translates to “entering” and “stepping into.” It’s when the sun exits the sign of Pisces and enters the sign of Aries. “Songkran month” is the event that occurs every month. But according to astrology, when the sun reaches Aries again after 12 months have passed, it’s known as “Songkran year” and will be the solar New Year’s Day.

          The festival is highly dependent on water, which symbolically washes away the previous year, allowing people to prepare for the new year. It’s also a time of family reunion, when relatives who have moved away return for the holiday to spend time with their loved ones. During the festival, various traditions are celebrated; but the one tradition it’s most famous for is water splashing. Thai locals and travellers alike drench each other with water using hoses, squirt guns and any other water carrying container.

          Locals believe that water is purifying and cleansing: it washes away negativity and problems, and brings good fortune and happiness. According to tradition, the festival began with villagers collecting water that had been poured over Buddha statues for purification. This was then used to bless leaders and family members who were well respected by sprinkling it over their shoulders. A similar tradition continues today with the water blessing ceremony, in which people fill shells with purified water and pour it on the hands of their elders as a sign of blessing and respect.

          Songkran is a festival in which family members gather to express gratitude, love and respect, as well as to make merit and pay respects to their ancestors. Giving food to monks is a way of gaining merit. Visiting temples and listening to Buddhist speeches are also both considered a blessing during Songkran. Thais go to temples to pray and bring food to the monks. Locals splash scented water on Buddha statues when visiting different places. Many people also like spreading positive vibes by releasing caged birds into the sky or fish into bodies of water. This occurs throughout the country.

          The northern city of Chiang Mai hosts the largest Songkran celebrations, with some events reportedly lasting six days. The infamous Khao San Road is the obvious centre of activities during Bangkok’s modern Songkran festival. The atmosphere in the backpacker zone is electrifying.

          In a normal, non-pandemic year, it’s hard to leave your accommodation, whether a hotel or a condo, without experiencing the water soaking chaos and any resistance will quickly fade. On the streets, you’ll find multiple generations getting in on the fun, including children, adults, the elderly and trucks full of teenagers blasting loud music.

          Songkran is a national holiday in Thailand. It’s a time for locals who have relocated to other cities or towns to return home and spend time with their families. So if you’re travelling to Thailand during this time, it’s smart to plan ahead because public transportation tends to be packed and accommodations fully booked — at higher than normal prices.