When you are travelling to Thailand, it is possible that you are experiencing Songkran – even be a part of the celebration. Of course, you are always welcomed to join the celebration. There are a lot of fun things to do during Songkran. So, what are your options for the celebration?
1. Understanding Songkran
Songkran is a festive celebration in Thailand that takes place for a few days. It is a crucial event in the Buddhist calendar that is held every April. Songkran is taken from a Sanskrit term which means approaching or passing. The water festival usually signs off the beginning of Thai New Year. The celebration takes place all over Thailand although Chiang Mai may be the most popular and crowded place for the celebration.
2. Bangkok Songkran
In this Thai capital city, the celebration starts with the Songkran Bangkok Splendours Festival from the 13th to the 15th of April. The opening ceremony is generally official and it is done at Wat Pho. It is one of the main and also the most crucial Buddhist temples in the country. Other celebrations may take place in Khao San Road, the popular street for the backpackers. The celebration includes performance and processions, Buddha images ritual bathing, and also water throwing. During the celebration, traditional and local foods are available in abundance.
3. Water Fights Everywhere
Because the celebration is about the water festival, then water fights are quite common. It happens everywhere! If you are in Thailand during Songkran, you should be ready to get wet. One of the popular spots for water fights is at Thapae Gate, which is basically the entrance to Old City of Chiang Mai. Everyone is involved in the water fights – old and young, foreigners and local Thais…all of them are joining the watery fights with fun and excitement. Another common sight is the foam machine.
Besides the water fights, you can also find performance. Big stages are constructed and set for competitions and performance. During this time, it is quite common to see people wearing traditional costumes. Keep in mind, though, that there are strict regulations and limitations on drinking so you should be aware of it.
Another word of advice is to be careful with the water thrown at you. Don’t expose your mouth, ears, and eyes to the water because most of it is taken from the moat. Is it clean? Well, not really. If you are tired with the water fights, you can always walk along the moat. There is music everywhere – the atmosphere is festive and fun. You should also be able to see stalls selling many types of clothes, souvenirs, and street foods. Despite the fun and joy, NEVER throw the water at the street vendors. You don’t want them to get upset or angry.
4. Wandering around and Giving Alms
Water fights are very common so don’t be surprised to see people standing outside their property with large icy water tubs or hoses. If you walk past, be ready to get the water throw. If you want to escape the crowds, just go to the smaller streets. They are usually quieter and you can interact with the locals. Be ready if you get the water throw from them, though.
Since Songkran is about the New Year, a lot of people are seeking blessings and making merit. During this period, it is pretty common to see the monks in the early morning to collect alms. You can also take part in the almsgiving or simply see the event. But you need to wake up early to be able to do so.
Read also: Join Songkran Festival and Get Wet
Songkran sounds like an interesting event of the year, huh? If you want to go to Thailand and be a part of the celebration, make sure to plan everything from now. Go to Airpaz to reserve your flights as well as planning your itinerary.