The festival of Songkran in Thailand marks the passage of a new year on the traditional Thai lunar calendar. The three day Thai New Year celebration has become a favorite for guests on luxury tours of Thailand.
Revolving around the use of water to purify the body and soul for the New Year, every part of Thailand erupts into what maybe the world’s largest and oldest water fight.
Thai people and tourists roam the streets for three days dousing each other with jets from water guns and deluges from containers of various sizes. Vehicles are not exempt from the festival, and it’s not uncommon to see cars driving slowly down the street with people spraying pedestrians with water from open windows.
Talc powder is also traditionally smeared on the faces of participants as part of the ritual cleansing of the inhabitants.
Traditionally falling on different dates due to the ancient Thai lunar calendar, the celebration now runs annually April 13 to 15.
The event has become a favorite of Thailand’s many festivals in recent years, and guests should plan well in advance for appropriate bookings for the celebration.
While the festival is recognized nationally, and is also celebrated globally in many locations, Chiang Mai is the favored location for many visitors on Thailand tours.
The holiday festival is a favorite for all ages. Children, adults, and the elderly all take part in the ancient tradition. The good natured fun of the water fights earns wide grins from participants of every stripe.
The only people who do not participate are the monks who spend the day giving blessings, and tourists should remember to respect the local holy men by aiming carefully.
Appropriate Attire :
Western wear is perfectly acceptable for the three day festival and swimsuits are recommended, but visitors that might enter any places of religious importance should cover their arms, shoulders, and legs on holy ground.
Camera equipment and other digital devices should be kept in waterproof containers as anyone outdoors is fair game for a soaking.