Celebrate the Thai New Year with Songkran Festival in Thailand

Celebrate the Thai New Year

Are you seeking an exciting and unique way to celebrate the New Year? Look no further than Songkran, the Thai Water Festival! This vibrant and joyous event is a celebration of the Thai New Year and a time for purification and renewal. Join in the fun as the streets of Thailand come alive with water fights, parades, and cultural traditions.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the highlights of the Songkran Festival, the best places to experience it in Thailand and provide valuable tips for your visit.

Celebrate the Thai New Year
Celebrate the Thai New Year

Understanding the Significance of the Songkran Festival

The Songkran Festival, also known as the Thai New Year, is a traditional and religious holiday that marks the beginning of the astrological year in Thailand. “Songkran” originates from the Sanskrit language, meaning “passage of the sun.” This three-day festival, usually from April 13th to 15th, holds great importance for the Thai people as it symbolizes a fresh start and the washing away of the previous year’s misfortunes.

Symbolism of Water in Songkran Festival Celebrate the Thai New Year 

Water is a central element of the Songkran Festival, representing purification, renewal, and the washing away of impurities. It is believed that by participating in water-related activities, one can cleanse themselves of the previous year’s bad luck and sins and welcome the new year with a fresh start. The act of pouring or sprinkling water on statues of Buddha and the hands of elders is a gesture of respect and seeking blessings for the coming year.

Celebrate the Thai New Year  Preparations and Traditions

Leading up to the festival, people do a thorough house cleaning to sweep away any negativity from the previous year symbolically. Families gather to clean their homes, schools, offices, and other public spaces, creating a fresh and welcoming environment for the start of the new year. Additionally, many individuals return to their hometowns to spend time with their loved ones during this special occasion Celebrate the Thai New Year .

On the day of Songkran, people wake up early and visit Buddhist temples to make offerings and listen to the monks’ teachings. They bring food and other items as offerings and pour scented water over Buddha statues to symbolize purification and good fortune. Younger generations also pour water into the hands of elderly relatives and friends to show respect and seek blessings for the upcoming year.

The Traditional Sand Offering

In some regions of Thailand, temple visitors bring sand to replenish what has been carried away on their shoes throughout the year. They leave the sand in stupas (mounds) on the ground, then decorated with colourful flags and flowers. This practice symbolizes the act of giving back to nature and restoring balance.

Top Destinations to Celebrate Songkran Festival in Thailand

Thailand offers many vibrant locations where you can experience the true essence of the Songkran Festival. These destinations provide unique and memorable celebrations from ancient cities to beautiful beaches. Here are some of the best places to immerse yourself in the festivities:

Chiang Mai

In northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is renowned for hosting one of the country’s biggest and most extended Songkran celebrations. The festival here lasts an entire week, allowing visitors to fully embrace the joyous atmosphere and participate in various traditional activities.

The Old Town of Chiang Mai is the heart of the festivities, with its tree-lined streets and historical charm. Join the lively parade, where locals pour jasmine-scented water on Buddhist statues and build sand pagodas. Experience traditional dance performances, indulge in delicious Thai street food, and witness the region’s unique cultural heritage.

If you’re feeling adventurous, join the spirited water fights by lowering buckets into the moat surrounding the Old Town or use the supplies carried by tuk-tuks loaded with water barrels. Consider booking a room at the serene Inn Oon Chiang Mai Home for a comfortable stay in the city’s heart.


As the bustling capital of Thailand, Bangkok offers an energetic and lively atmosphere during the Songkran Festival. Khao San Road and Silom Road are the epicentres of the water fights, where tourists and locals come together to dance, splash water, and enjoy the festivities.

The party scene in Bangkok is unmatched, with DJs playing energetic music while revellers soak each other in water under the scorching sun. But if you prefer a more traditional experience, head to Banglamphu Market, where you can witness a local Songkran celebration. Parades featuring elaborate costumes and cultural performances are a sight to behold.

When visiting Bangkok, consider staying at The LOL Elephant Hostel, conveniently located just a short walk from Khao San Road, or explore other accommodation options that suit your preferences.


For those seeking a beach-based Songkran experience, Phuket is the ideal destination. This picturesque island, with its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, becomes even more exhilarating during the festival. Patong Beach and Bangla Road are the main hotspots for water fights and wild parties.

Join the massive water battles as trucks loaded with ice-cold water roam the streets and revelers armed with water guns and buckets engage in friendly combat. If you need a break from the excitement, explore the cultural side of Phuket by visiting Phuket City’s Old Town, where you can witness traditional Thai dance performances and indulge in the local street food scene.

Wave Hotel Pattaya offers an oasis away from the lively celebrations, just a short walk from Patong Beach for a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Pattaya and Bang Saen

Pattaya, a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, and Bang Saen, a neighbouring beach town, offer unique experiences during the Songkran Festival. Pattaya’s celebrations extend for about a week, with Patong Beach being the epicentre of wild water fights and energetic parties.

If you prefer a more local-oriented celebration, head to Bang Saen Beach to admire impressive sand sculptures and intricate sand pagodas created by talented artists. Stroll along the lush shores of Kaen Nakhon Lake in Khon Kaen and be a part of the world’s most extended human wave during Songkran 2019.

Whether you choose Pattaya, Bang Saen, or Khon Kaen, you’ll find various accommodation options to suit your needs. Consider staying at La Piccola Patong in Pattaya for a comfortable and convenient experience.

Tips for Enjoying Songkran Festival in Thailand

To ensure you have the best possible experience during the Songkran Festival in Thailand, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Be Respectful and Mindful

While Songkran is a time of celebration and fun, respecting local customs and traditions is crucial. Avoid splashing water in people’s eyes, and refrain from using dirty water, ice cubes, or anything harmful. Be considerate of monks, elderly individuals, and babies who may not wish to participate in the water fights. Additionally, refrain from targeting motorcycles and cars to prevent accidents.

Stay Safe and Prepared

Protect yourself from the sun and potential water-related hazards by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Consider wearing waterproof clothing and footwear to stay comfortable throughout the festivities. Keep your valuables safe and dry by using waterproof bags or pouches. Carrying a waterproof phone case is also advisable to capture memorable moments without worry.

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

Take the opportunity to learn about Thai culture and traditions during the Songkran Festival. Visit Buddhist temples, witness traditional performances, and try local cuisine. Engage with the locals and embrace the festival’s spirit by participating in the various activities and rituals.

Plan and Book Accommodation

As the Songkran Festival attracts many visitors, planning your trip and securing accommodation early is essential. Consider the proximity of your chosen accommodation to the festival hotspots to make the most of your experience.

Additional Information: Airports, Best Places to See, Weather, and Things to Do


Thailand is well-connected by air, with several international airports as tourist entry points. The main airports include Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Phuket International Airport in Phuket, and Chiang Mai International Airport in Chiang Mai. These airports offer various domestic and international flight options to suit your travel needs.

Best Places to See in Thailand

In addition to the Songkran Festival, Thailand offers many captivating attractions and landmarks. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of Krabi, there is something for everyone. Some must-visit places include the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Ayutthaya Historical Park, the Phi Phi Islands, and the stunning temples of Chiang Mai.

Weather in Thailand during the Songkran Festival

The Songkran Festival is in April, one of Thailand’s hottest months. Expect high temperatures and humidity, so be prepared for the heat and stay hydrated. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Things to Do in Thailand –  Celebrate the Thai New Year 

Apart from the Songkran Festival, Thailand offers visitors various activities and experiences. Explore the vibrant street markets, indulge in delicious Thai cuisine, embark on a jungle trek, or relax with a traditional Thai massage. From cultural immersions to adventurous outings, Thailand has something to cater to every traveller’s interests.

Celebrate the Thai New Year with the Songkran Festival in Thailand and embark on an unforgettable journey filled with water fights, cultural traditions, and joyous celebrations.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, and other top destinations as you ring in the new year with a splash. Remember to plan, be respectful, and embrace the rich culture of Thailand. Prepare for an experience like no other as you create lasting memories during this exciting festival Celebrate the Thai New Year .

We offer a wide range of cheap accommodation only and holidays from many local airports with several leading tour operators. As we work with all major tour operators, including On the Beach,

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