What is Songkran festival and how to make the most of it?
What not to love about Songkran Festival? The answer is nothing that you wouldn’t love about this fun throwing-water celebration. Both Thai and international guests are celebrating together during the hottest time of the year in Thailand. But what exactly is Songkran all about and why do Thai people have to celebrate this as a nationwide festival? Here are some ideas of Songkran for you to keep in mind while enjoying the thrill of this festival in Thailand.
A traditional new year
Songkran day marks the beginning of the Thai traditional New Year. Thailand uses 1st January as the date to mark the start of the New Year but the country also has its own traditional New Year.
Songkran date was originally set by the astrological calculation but these days the dates are now fixed during 13 to 15 April annually.
A family reunion
As it is a long weekend, Thai people will head back to their hometown during this water festival. To compare a bit, Songkran festival is like Thanksgiving, when it is the time of the year where the family reunion will take place.
For Thais, it means they will head back home and spend time with their loved ones.
How do you celebrate Songkran like the locals?Traditionally, Thai people will take this chance to go back home and see their parents or their old relatives. A tradition of bathing elders and ask for their blessing is a must for the festival. Also they will go to temple and make merit by either giving alms to the monks in the morning or releasing animals such as birds, fishes or turtles – these are considered to be traditional things to do apart from throwing water during Songkran days.
For the fun part, the water fight always tops the list. The water tradition can start in the morning and last up until late evening in some areas. But the best time to enjoy is during afternoon where the weather and sun light is super hot and all you want to do is getting wet!
The cool thing about Songkran is everyone is entitled to get wet. So, if you throw water to someone on the street, they (probably) wouldn’t get mad at you. However, keep in mind that some people might not ready for the water party yet (phone, papers…) so do send some sign first before approaching them!
What to prepare for the fight?
If you want to feel like a local, here are some tips for dress code and tools you will need:
Water gun or a bucket, if you are hardcore enough
Water powder, but in some area is prohibited due to harassment issue. Check the rule before you roll!
- Light fabric and colorful clothes. The original one has to be colorful floral clothes
- A hat or a cap. It is really sunny and the heat of Thailand’s summer is unbelievable
- A sealed plastic bag for your mobile phone. You don’t want to buy new phone after this water festival!
Now I guarantee that you are ready to enjoy the fun of this awesome-summer-water festival in Thailand. Load your water gun and you are ready to go!