Songkran Festival, Thai Water Festival, Songkran Day – there are multiple names to Thailand’s signature festival. One of Thailand’s biggest celebrations, over half a million tourists come to enjoy the water fights in this amazing festival. So, let us head to find the quirky facts of this water splashing fest.
Water fights with fluorescent water guns
Celebrated from around April 13 to 15, this festival is a unique time when Thai summer becomes cooler, and a huge water fight takes place to bring people from all across the globe closer. There is cheer and laughter roaring in the air as the crowds hurl water at one another. Some use water buckets, while others are seen firing from big fluorescent water guns, and some other aim water pipes at the gathering of people.
The water festival in Phuket is especially gaining more popularity around the world because of its thrilling way of celebration. Imagine over half a million people coming from all around the globe here to be a part of the famed Songkran festival to experience the unmatched fun and enjoy the water fights.
Bathing Ritual to fetch good luck
Also called the traditional Thai New Year, ‘Songkran’ literally means to move into or pass. This grand festival is celebrated usually in mid-April and is considered as a time when all the families and friends get together to pay their gratitude to their elders and also go to temples to offer their prayers. During this festival, Thai people cleanse all the Buddha images and statues by pouring water mixed with a Thai fragrance. A bathing ritual also takes place where people pour water on the revered Buddhist monks, and it is believed that this process fetches good luck to them.
Post that, the senior-most monk gives a sermon and blesses everyone. In some parts of Thailand, images and statues of the Buddha are paraded on the streets, so that people can shower them with water. Major Buddha images like Phra Buddha Sihing located at Bangkok National Museum and the famed Buddha statue at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai are also paraded along the streets so that the crowds can pour water on them.
Beautiful sand pagodas
Imagine carrying sand with your feet every time you walk in and out of temple grounds. In the context of this Thai festival, getting sand inside the temple grounds symbolizes that you are returning it to the temples. The collected sand is later utilized for construction activities at the temples. At some popular temples, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai Old City, the natives make splendid sand pagodas and beautify them using colourful flags and flowers. In some places, sand pagoda building competitions also take place. So, it’s time to unleash your creativity and design beautiful pagodas as the locals do!
Delicious servings, beauty pageants and cultural programs
Multiple local food stalls line the streets where you can relish scrumptious preparations. After that, you can enjoy a few midway-style games and also see some cultural performances and Miss Songkran Beauty Pageants. As it’s official holiday time here, you can experience an amazing and lively vibe at most attractions. So enjoy a fun vibe and the different side of this beautiful country.
Best spots to celebrate this fun in Thailand
Foreigners head to Bangkok and flock to the famous backpacker hangout, Khao San Road and another hotspot, Silom Road. However, if you are looking for some hardcore celebrations, then Phuket is the hub of it all. Chiang Mai is yet another Songkran spot, which is very popular, where crowds gather at Thapae Gate, which is located by the network of canals passing through the city.
You can also travel to Chonburi Province, where this festival goes on for five days. Whereas, in Pattaya, it is celebrated for almost a week. If you are looking for a beach vacay, and do not like loud party scenes, then opt to go to Bang Saen and don’t go to Pattaya and Phuket during that time. These festivities can go crazy as most places experience the frenzied water fights, although there are some parts in Thailand, where you can enjoy the festival without getting drenched. Get set to take a dip into this vibrant Thai fun!