Songkran Festival

In Thailand, we have many special days during the year .One of the most special day is Songkran Festival or we can call it “Tết Thái Lan”or “Lễ Hội té Nước” in Vietnamese. Songkran Festival is celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year’s day from 13 to 15 April.


Songkran means movement or changing place as it is the day when the sun changes its position in the zodiac. This Thai traditional New Year begins with early morning merit-making, offering food to Buddhist monks and releasing caged birds to fly freely into the sky.

Actually, Songkran or water festival is the new year of many countries in Southeast Asian country such as Burma, Cambodia, Laos as well a Yunnan, China. The festival has many different names for each country. They call it Songkran in Laos and Thailand, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia and Thingyan in Myanmar.  We can say that Songkran or water festival is the Co-Culture of ASEAN but the ritual details are different and the symbolic are similar.

Songkran day is also known as the water festival
because people in
believe that water will wash away all of their bad luck and bring good luck in the coming year. All of the Thai people are happy to welcome this special day every year because they can take a time off from work to go back to their hometown and celebrate the day with their families.

During this auspicious occasion, any animals kept will be set free. Paying homage to one’s ancestors is an important part of the day. People will pay their respects to the elders by pouring scented water over the palms of their hands. The elders in return wish the youngsters good luck and prosperity. In the afternoon after performing a bathing rite, which is done by gently pouring water mixed with Thai fragrance called “Nam Op Thai”, for  Buddha images and the monks, the celebrants both young and old, joyfully splash water on each other. (Essays on THAILAND,1994)

Songkran Festival
,Chiang Mai


Scented water

Performing a bathing rite by pouring water “Nam Op Thai” for Buddha images

Rod NamDumHua,
a traditional way to celebrate with elder

By the way, when you visit Thailand in this special festival. Just wear a colourful flower shirt and prepare to get wet because Thai people will splash the water on you. If you want to participate in the water festival, we recommend you to come to the main place in Bangkok such as Khao San Road, and Silom Road. If you want to not only get splashed but also want to enjoy the cultural activities you can visit many provinces in Thailand such as Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Samut Prakan,Phuket etc.

Thai traditional New Year starts on 13 to 15 April every year. The 13th April is called Wan Maha Songkran, and it is held to be the day that the sun enters Aries and is the last day of the Old Year. It is also known as the elder’s day. The 14th April is called Wan Nao, and is the day that connects the Old Year to the New Year. It is also observed as Family Day. The 15th April is called Wan Ta-leung Sok which is the first day of New Year.

Songkran Festival at Phra Si Sanphet Temple, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

In Thailand, There are many songs are meant to Songkran festival .you will hear Songkran song in Thai Televisions and many places will play the song to celebrate Songkran festival .

You can enjoy the song by listening to the “Ram Wong Wan Songkran” song here:

If you plan to enjoy the Songkran festival in Thailand 2016, we hope you will have fun and don’t forget to say “SAWADDEE PII MAI” to Thai people


  Patcharee  Tasai

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