Songkran Water Festival Dates, Traditions, Tips, Holidify 2023

Songkran, the Thai New Year water celebration, is held every year from April 13 to April 15; April 13 is Thai New Year’s Day. Using water to cleanse and ask for abundant rain in the next year, Songkran is a holiday that represents goodness, love, empathy, and appreciation. 

Songkran is a Thai word that means “passing” or “approaching.” One of the numerous Buddhist Festivals and Public Holidays in Thailand. Get the water hoses out, and don’t be shy about getting wet! Making a splashy new beginning is Songkran’s theme, a celebration celebrating the Thai New Year.

What is Songkran Water Festival?

The world’s wettest and craziest water fight is, without a doubt, Songkran, the Thai new year, which is celebrated throughout the globe. Recall all the water gun fights you had as a child. 

They usually began with a tiny weapon, but as soon as a larger one was brought out, the conflict intensified until you were flinging water buckets. Such battles would continue until one of the participants miscued and struck an adult, ending the water fight abruptly.

Songkran Water Festival

Similarly, most people imagine Thailand’s Songkran holiday, except adults participate in the water flinging. Every year, everyone enjoys the holiday of Songkran. Once a New Year’s celebration, Songkran has become a huge show of entertaining water battles in current times.

The entire nation celebrates Songkran, but Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai have the most enthusiasm. Khao San Road and Silom are the hubs of activity in Bangkok.

Origin of the Day

Songkran is Thai for “move” or “change of location.” Songkran and the Water Festival, which previously took place on the day the sun changed signs, merged at some time in Thailand’s history.

Songkran Water Festival

Thais consider water spiritually cleansing: it washes you of any ill luck or complaints from the previous year and bestows your fortune and happiness for the following year. Locals began the festivities by gathering water used to cleanse Buddha sculptures.

The village leaders and family members were blessed with this trickling over their shoulders. From its more subdued origins, Songkran has grown into a nationwide water fight in April, Thailand’s warmest month.

Songkran in Chiang Mai

The biggest Songkran celebrations occur in Chiang Mai, the country’s capital in the north, where the city extends the festivities over nearly a week. Moreover, collecting sand and transporting it to one’s neighborhood monastery is more typical in northern Thailand.

Songkran Water Festival

This sand is used to refill the monastery before being carved into stupa-shaped mounds and decorated with vibrant, joyous flags to represent the dirt they have carried on their feet throughout the previous year.

Songkran in Khao San Road 

The indisputable center of Bangkok’s contemporary Songkran celebration is Khao San. The backpacker district’s carnival atmosphere is electrifying and cordoned off to traffic.

Songkran Water Festival

Thai and Farang (foreigners) have stations with enormous water cannons, pressure hoses, and coolers. 

The best area to experience crowds brandishing water pistols while listening to upbeat music from the neighborhood clubs is Khao San, which is crowded and crazy.

Songkran in Pattaya

Thailand’s longest holiday festivities are held in Pattaya, the “party capital of Thailand.” On Pattaya’s beach roads, water-splashing “fights” start the morning of April 13. Live music stages and foam machines are put up to draw the masses to the fantastic celebration.

Songkran Water Festival

Loud music is played nonstop on moving pick-up trucks that serve as mobile stages. Both visitors and residents enjoy the delight of Songkran.

Activities of the Day

This holiday indeed strongly emphasizes both religion and the profound value of family. It’s similar to a Western Christmas in that everyone could make an extra effort to be together during this time of year.

1. Water Battles

Water battles are a significant component of the New Year’s festivities. Splashing one other with water is a great method to stay cool during Thailand’s warmest month of April. 

Large groups assemble to “battle” with water using pipes, buckets, and water pistols on streets that have been blocked to traffic and turned into arenas. Younger generations adore it, and foreigners are invited to participate as well!

2. Building Sand Pagodas

Thai people contribute some sand to temples during the Songkran Festival to be used in constructing sand pagodas on the grounds of temples. Sand pagodas and temple repairs are possible with the sand’s help. 

During Songkran Festival, it is considered an excellent form to assist with temple upkeep and general monk assistance.

3. Party Venue

Several of Bangkok’s well-known streets transform into water fight arenas and party locales during Songkran Festival.  Now is unquestionably the time to go forward if you enjoy parties. You may meet well-known Thai singers and DJs at these events in addition to dancing and having a great time. So, start swaying with your hippest motions! 

Yet occasionally, the party environment makes for a crazy night. Therefore exercise caution and maintain vigilance!


Choose your outfit wisely.

Be sure anything you’re wearing can withstand getting wet. In most situations, more than fancy attire is required. Think about the hue after being wet. It’s recommended for women wear swimwear underneath their clothing. 

If you make the wrong decision, you will compete in a wet shirt contest for the entire day and draw much attention. Cell phones, priceless cameras, and passports are kept in the hotel safe. 

Retain the ice.

Although tossing ice-cold water is common, it shouldn’t be filled with solid ice. Be not afraid of the white dirt. White mud marks on your face signify affection and good luck, albeit more common outside tourist regions.

Not everybody is a target. Older people, pregnant women, and monks should never be targeted. Beware, doing so might result in some time spent with the cops.


Q: What is Songkran?
The Songkran water celebration is a time for symbolic rebirth and regeneration, looking forward to the coming year, asking for luck in that New Year, and offering thanks for the previous year’s blessings.

Q: How Songkran is celebrated?

Many people are unaware that Songkran is a highly solemn occasion for Thai citizens. The traditional aspects of Songkran are about showing respect to one’s elders. It is a time for people to spend with their families at home, contrasting to all the water splashing and wild partying among visitors.


Even if the celebrations aren’t quite tranquil, they’re a far cry from the frantic water fight. After a meal from one of the many street vendors selling local cuisine, you may play some carnival-style games, take in cultural performances, and witness Miss Songkran’s beauty pageants.

Taking time off and traveling is another activity people engage in as it is an official holiday in Thailand. Most sites have such a bustling atmosphere at this time of year. Come come and take in a joyful atmosphere and another aspect of Thailand. 

Or, if you want a more tranquil and relaxed trip, let our Local Specialists show you the best locations for your special New Year’s celebration.

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