Songkran Festival 2021
Thailand’s Amazing Water Fest
Arguably the biggest festival in Thailand, Songkran is an important event in the Southeast Asian country that ushers the start of the traditional Thai New Year. Songkran is a Sanskrit word that means ‘movement.’ The festival is a magnanimous annual event that is from the 13th to the 15th of April.
Culturally, the Thais regard water as a spiritual source of purification. The widely celebrated festival originated from locals gathering water that had been used to cleanse Buddha statues. Thereafter, this water served as a source of spiritual purification where it was poured over village elders and elderly family members in several communities.
But like with every major cultural and historic festival that is now awash with a sense of merriment, Songkran has morphed into something of an aquatic splendour enjoyed by both adults and children alike. Fortunately, the festival coincides with one of the hottest summer months in Thailand, doubling the fun and excitement.
The first day of the festival kicks off with a joyous celebration marked with country-wide processions of people with various Buddha images. Highlighting the importance of entering into a new year in a pious state, Thai people conduct strict sanitation of their houses in preparation for the traditional New Year.
Similarly, Thais also engage in various visits to Buddhist monasteries, giving charitable donations to monks and praying for forgiveness and better luck in the coming year.
The spectacle of the festival is staggering in places like Chiang Mai – the northern capital is host to one of the biggest, longest and wildest celebration of Songkran. Likewise, the Khao San Road – an absolute backpackers’ delight – is the heart and soul of the modern exhibition and celebration of Songkran.
Thais and foreigners alike parade the festival with pressure hoses, varieties of gigantic water guns, and huge cooler boxes ready to splatter water in any direction. According to Thai culture, only Nuns, Monks, and the elderly can excuse themselves from the pizzazz of the Songkran Festival.
If you enjoy the abundant gush and splash of water in summer, a colourful, grand and cultural celebration teeming with drenched people, music, food, and excitement, then the annual Songkran Festival in Thailand is definitely one to experience.