Thailand's Water Festival: Songkran

Songkran or the water festival is a term derived from the Sanskrit saṅkrānti (or, more specifically, meṣa saṅkrānti). It may refer to the traditional New Year celebrated in several Southeast Asian countries when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, as reckoned by sidereal astrology: It can also refer to the traditional New Year celebrated by the Dai people of Yunnan, China, and by the Tai Dam people of Northern Vietnam.

Songkran, is celebrated from 13 to 15 April. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. is an annual event marking the traditional Thai new year. It is about cleaning, purification, and fresh starts. Houses are cleaned, Buddha statues are gently washed with scented water, and elders are honored by pouring water respectfully over their hands, and go to a wat (Buddhist monastery) to pray and give food to monks. It is believed that doing this will bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year.
This annual fun-filled festival attracts visitors from across the world. Songkran is the largest celebration in Thailand, and arguably the largest water fight in the world; plan on at least three days -- probably more -- of wet, rowdy fun!

Songkran is a great time to visit Thailand ! Falls on some of the hottest days in Thailand (temperatures can rise to over 100°F or 40°C on some days)., and people celebrate by throwing water on each other, or on complete strangers without them getting using water guns, buckets, hoses, or whatever they can get their hands on.
In addition, many Thais will have small bowls of beige colored talc sold cheaply and mixed with water which is then smeared on the faces and bodies of random passersby as a blessing for the new year. Sometimes this talc is mixed with menthol
Elephants splash water  in the ancient city of Ayutthaya.
One thing is absolutely certain: unless you plan to sequester yourself in your room for three days YOU WILL GET WET WET WET!
  • Still, as with all wild parties, certain precautions have to be taken and these are:
  • Only take waterproof photo equipment out with you
  • Do not wear expensive clothing – it will be ruined
  • Best not to ride a motorbike for very many obvious reasons and indeed avoid driving any vehicle
  • Wear sunscreen and apply it regularly as it will wash off
  • If you are in a vehicle don’t expect to get to your destination in a hurry as traffic is snail slow
Songkran Dates :

The Joyous Songkran Splendours, specially organised by the TAT and local organisations from the public and private sector, will take place in the following locations:


Bangkok:
Khao San Road, Bangkok, 13-15 April 2014, 10.00-23.00 hrs.
Silom Road, Bangkok, 13-15 April 2014, 10.00-00.00 hrs.

Songkran Wisutkasat: Get soaked at Wisutkasat (Bang Khun Phrom intersection), 
under the Rama 8 bridge, 13-15 April.
Banglamphu: Join Bangkok’s young people in traditional Thai attire and enjoy merit making and cultural performances at Suan Santi Chaiprakarn, Phra Athit Road, 13-15 April.
Lan Khon Mueang: Merit making and fun in front of Bangkok City Hall, 13-15 April.

Pattaya (North, Central and South Beach), 
Lan Bodhi Park Na Kluea and Chon Buri, 11-20 April 2014, 09.00-00.00 hrs.
Khao Nieo Road, Khon Kaen, 5-15 April 2014, 10.00-20.30 hrs.
Patong Beach, Phuket,
12-13 April 2014, 10.00-22.00 hrs.

Hat Yai Midnight Songkran
Nipat Uthit 3 Road, Sanehanusorn Road and Wat Mahatta, 11-15 April 2014, 10.00-23.00 hrs.

Ko Samui (Chaweng Beach)
13 April 2014, 08.00 – 20.00 hrs.

Chiang Mai
Around the City Moat, Chiang Mai, 11-16 April 2014, 09.00-22.00 hrs.

Ayutthaya
 Probably Thailand’s most unique Songkran celebration with elephants joining the fun!
In front of TAT Ayutthaya Office, 13-15 April.