BANGKOK, 11 April 2018: Songkran Festival, which takes place nationwide in Thailand, 12 to 16 April, is an event where boisterous fun and ancient traditions go hand-in-hand.
For tourists, the event offers a chance to enjoy a huge celebration where water parties break out in the streets of Thailand’s towns and villages.
For locals, it is a time when they can spend precious time with families and visit the temples to observe ancient rites and make merit. There’s no doubt that it is a fascinating time to be in Thailand wherever you travel.
Grand Songkran Celebration 2018 at Lumpini Park (12-15 April).
The famous Phra Buddha Sihing image from the National Museum will be taken on a parade to be installed at Lumpini Park – this tradition only takes place once a year (normally to Sanam Luang).
During these dates, the public will have the chance to Song Nam Phra or purify Phra Phuttha Sihing image with scented water. There’s also a mass alms-giving ceremony to mark the beginning of the Thai New Year, as well as the Thai tradition of being blessed by elders or Rot Nam Dam Hua.
Songkran at the ancient capital (13-15 April).
Thailand’s former capital – Ayutthaya is another place worth visiting during the Songkran festival. The province is inviting both local and foreign tourists to celebrate Songkran in the most unusual exotic way – water splashing with the elephants in the very Thai environs of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya Historical Park.
Tourists can celebrate Songkran with the elephants along the road in front of the TAT Ayutthaya Office. Several cultural activities will also be held such as pouring water over the sacred Buddha images, sand pagoda building, and the chance to enjoy the traditional Thai dances with the locals.
Chiang Mai Paweni Pi Mai Muang Chiang Mai Songkran Festival 2017 (12-15 April).
The best-known Songkran celebrations in the whole of Thailand take place in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Here you’ll find a wonderful balance of water-based fun and sacred ceremonies that show the religious importance of this festival to the Lanna people. In Chiang Mai,
Songkran is often called Paweni Pi Mai Muang. Highlights include the procession of Chiang Mai’s prominent Phra Buddha Sihing image as well as bathing the image, and taking part in a parade bringing sand and Sali (the Bodhi tree) clutches to temples, cultural events and performances.
Salung Luang Songkran Festival in Lampang (9 – 13 April). Experience the Lanna tradition of Songkran in Lampang, at Khelang Nakorn Park on Tha Kraw Noi Road.
Enjoy a huge parade called the Salung Luang procession featuring floral horse-drawn carriages competitions, cultural shows and local performances.
Songkran Thailand-Laos’ New Year, Nakhon Phanom (13 – 15 April).
Organised in Nakhon Phanom with activities taking place at Laan Phanom Naga in Muang district, the event is based on the traditions of seven tribes who traditionally settled in this area.
Many of the traditions mirror those found in the rest of the country including almsgiving for local monks and the building of sand pagodas. But there is also the chance to take part in religious activities that originate in Laos such as the Bai Sri Su Khwan spirit blessing ceremony believed to bestow happiness and prosperity on others.
Phuket Grand Songkran Celebration 2018 on the beach (11-13 April).
Join local people at Phuket for “Songkran on the Beach” at Phuket’s famous Patong beach. There will be several merit-making activities such as Rot Nam Dum Hua ritual, the parade of Phra Budha Sihing image, cultural shows, and various competitions and fun-filled entertainments. In Phuket town there are floral parades, dancing and cultural shows.