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Songkran in Thailand is on 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. It’s known around the world as “The World’s largest water fight”
What is Songkran?
Songkran is the Thai New Year’s national holiday and is rich in cultural traditions. Thai’s will visit local temples and offer food to monks, as well as visiting Buddha statues and gently pouring water over these as well as over the hands of the elderly. These traditions represent the purification and the washing away of sins and bad luck.
Most of the world outside of Thailand sees the Songkran holiday for its water fights. Streets around the whole country are closed off to traffic and used as arenas for water fights, using anything and everything to throw water. Huge water guns, hoses, and large buckets filled with blocks of ice in the back of pick-up trucks, are all used for the celebrations. The water fights can last for days.
Then there are the huge speakers blasting out traditional music from every street corner, and dancing in the streets in bright colorful shirts. There are parades and parties everywhere across the country including the famous “Miss Songkran” competitions that includes ladies, boys, girls, men dressed as ladies, and anyone in-between.
In Phuket, Songkran is only one day, whereas in Bangkok the water fights will happen for 3 days.
The History of Songkran
Songkran is the Thai New Year’s national holiday. In the past, Songkran has always been the official NEW YEAR for Thailand, until 1888, when it was changed to April 1st. No Joke it really was. Then in 1940, the Thai New Year was officially switched to 1st January, and Songkran became a national holiday.
Bottom line, Songkran is one of the most fun festivals in the world and you have to experience it at least once. Just know that you will get very wet even if you don’t want to.
Shaun is the Co-Owner and Founder of 5 Star Marine Phuket. After visiting Phuket for a holiday he never left and over 13 years later he calls Phuket home with his wife and kids. Shaun is passionate about Phuket and the Islands surrounding Phuket and loves helping fellow travellers explore.