Songkran – Thailand’s Unofficial New Year Celebration on April 13
Songkran – Thailand New Year
Songkran (pronounced song-krarn) is the unofficial Thai new year day and is traditionally celebrated on the 13th April and extended for the next 2 days, every year. In Thailand, New Year is officially celebrated on the 1st January, since 1940. Songkran (13th April) was the official New Year until 1888 when it was switched to a fixed date of the 1st April. Then in 1940, the official date was shifted to the 1st January and the traditional Thai New Year celebration called Songkran (13 to 15 April) was transformed into a national 3 day holiday.
The annual Songkran festival marks the traditional Thai new year and the whole country will be celebrating days off work, time with family, trips to the temple, partying and of course, pouring water on others to cleanse the soul. This pouring of water has morphed into full-scale water wars in the tourist sectors of Thailand.
Traditional Songkran above
Partytime Songkran in the tourist sectors of Thailand above where water wars are common practice.
Partytime Songkran, where even police and elephants join in the water wars… amazing Thailand.
Songkran is celebrated differently all over the country be it what they do and how long they celebrate but what I have observed here in Hua Hin is that all the water fights are done on one day only, the 13th April. Other places such as Bangkok and Pattaya, the water festivities continue for 3 or 4 days. This can mean extra fun for some but if you don’t like getting water thrown (by the bucket) or fired (by water gun or high powered hose) at you every time you step out of your “safe house” for 3 or 4 days then Hua Hin is your place of choice! IMO, water fights are great fun and they bring out the “child” in you but one day is enough for me 🙂
Tip: if you venture outside during Songkran and especially on the 13th April, expect to get wet! Therefore, make sure you take care of items such as watch, wallet and mobile phone etc. Be prepared!
While there are numerous places in Hua Hin where there are large gatherings of people to celebrate Songkran, Market Village Shopping Mall stages celebrations on the 13th April from 2 pm onwards. This is very popular with families and people that don’t want to go over the top with front-line water fights. Respect is given to young and old. Taking place in front of the mall itself, this festive event combines traditional and fun activities. Visitors can do merit making by bathing a famous Buddha image of Hua Hin and join a traditional Thai dance. The highlight is two big foamy seas for children and adults. Named, “Colour Foam, Colour Squeeze”, the foamy seas allow visitors to splash colour water on one another. In addition, there will be many variety shows and a concert by a pop music band.
Partytime Songkran at the Market Village Mall – perfect for families
Happy Songkran from the Home2go Team 🙂
PS…be very careful or avoid travelling in a vehicle for long distances during Songkran. Many Thai people make Songkran their special drinking (alcohol) time of the year and as a result, the Songkran period records the most road accidents every year (crazy numbers!!) Please read here for the Full Road Accidents Statistics for Songkran 2018.
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