Songkran, an exciting festival native to Thailand, is celebrated as the beginning of a new year in Thailand, usually in April each year.
The dates coincide with the start of the New Year in several other Asian countries. One of the most common traditions that characterize these festivities is the throwing of water. This activity symbolizes getting rid of any bad luck as the New Year begins. Authentic traditions for this activity will often involve the use of fragrant traditional herbs.
Songkran Festival – 2017 Water Festival Dates, Koh Samui Thailand
So significant is this activity that the streets of Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, become virtually impassable, thanks to the participants pouring water in all possible ways; buckets, water cannons and improvised containers. For visitors in Thailand during this time be prepared to get wet, as the fanfare is certainly one of the hallmarks of Thailand’s rich culture.
In addition to the festivities, Songkran also involves spiritual practices. The worship of Buddha is a key part of Thai’s New Year celebrations and this leads many worshippers to express their worship in different ways. Some of the most common ways to do this include cleaning Buddha statues, visiting temples and sharing with the elderly, all part of wishing good karma in the year.
Visitors touring Thailand for the first time, and who are keen on taking part in the celebrations, will be delighted to know that the Bangkok police department has made adequate plans to cater for this. The directions to Wat Pho, one of the main Buddhist Temples in the city, are well indicated. The Bangkok Songkran event happens once yearly; it would be a good thing to make plans well in advance.
For visitors to the region during this time, make sure you come prepared by keeping valuables such as cameras, mobile phones and passports in water proof packaging (or better yet, left back in your room) as the locals will take no mercy on those who don’t want to get wet. Shorts, T-Shirts and thongs are best and make sure that the clothing you wear doesn’t become see-through when wet!