Songkran In Thailand
(Thai: งกรานต์, or literally “astrological passage”)
Songkran in Thailand is celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of April.
The main water fights can start in the evening on the 12th of April but the big water fight day is on the 13th of April.
Some areas like Pattaya celebrate it for a week, so check the local dates before you go.
Water Fights in Thailand
If you have ever been to Thailand during Songkran, then you will know that it is not for the fainthearted.
If you are not in the mood to get soaking wet, then it is advised to stay home until Songkran ends or stay 3 days inside your Thailand Hotel or Resort.
Songkran is well known in Thailand as New Year’s from 13 to 15 April.
Happy New Year in Thai is Sawadee Pee Mai
What To Expect During Songkran in Thailand
Those who have visited Thailand throughout Songkran will know that it is only one massive water fight.
Most of the streets and main tourist areas are full of people equipped with water pistols, buckets and large water guns.
Water Guns and Pistols can be purchased in all the main tourist areas. They are getting bigger and more powerful each year.
It is worth finding a busy place to set up and you will have hours of fun throughout the day.
A great tip is to make sure you join in and put all of your electronics and perishables items in a water tight bag or leave them at your hotel.
These waterproof bags will be on sale everywhere for 50 baht to 100 baht. Well worth the cost.
We bought ours from 7/11 for 59 Baht.
What To Do For Songkran in Thailand
Songkran falls within the hottest time of the year in Thailand (at the end of the dry season).
This makes the water fights even more fun, as you are kept cool all day in the hot Thailand sun.
Some bars even have big ice slabs in their water bins, just so you get that little bit extra chill.
Once you have found a great bar you can get ready for a full day of water fights,.
You will sometimes need to pay the bar a bit extra if you are using the water out of the ones that they have ice in.
It is worth the extra hundred baht, as the look on people’s face when you splash them with ice cold water is worth it.
You will also be bombarded by people walking past or sitting in back of their utes/pick ups.
You can often see up to 10 people in the back of the car and being drowned from ten people at once is quite amusing.
Your inner child will be released during the water fights, so be prepared to get soaking wet and have lots of fun.
Songkran Dos and Don’ts Tips
- Do not throw buckets of water or squirt water into motorbike riders faces. Aim for the legs.
- Do not Drink and Drive. Especially on a motorbike where people may accidentally get you in the face.
- Do not throw water after 7pm
- Do not throw water on monks, police or the elderly
- Do not throw water indoors. Especially inside bars where people are trying to eat or are having a break from the fights.
- Do not drink any of the water thrown at you as it is most likely tap water.
- Do not wear white clothes. Especially if you are a girl.
- Do put all your electronics and valuables into a waterproof bag.
- Do wear clothes that you can afford to get wet and dirty
- Do use common sense and have fun
If you are close to other bars, try and form a team and fight against the other bars.
Songkran Video in Thailand
The below video was taken in Patong in Phuket – Thailand.
It is at the Dolphin Bar area, which is at the start of Patong Beach Road.
White Powder During Songkran in Thailand. (Din Sor Pong)
In most parts of Thailand you will also see people with a white powder or paste on the faces.
This is another ritual to ward off evil spirits and to give protection to the wearer.
Thai people normally mix a white powder with water and wipe it across your cheeks; leaving a white smear.
It stings a bit if it gets in your eyes but it is best to be left on until it washes off, as a sign of respect.
It is a harmless paste and will not damage your clothes or irritate your skin.
Some areas during Songkran have banned this, as they think it may clog up the drains.
If someone approaches you to apply it, just stick out your face so they can apply it without it going into your eyes or mouth.
History of Songkran in Thailand
Songkran has traditionally been celebrated as the Thai New Year for many centuries, and is believed to have been tailored from an Indian festival.
The water flights started because water is supposed to cleanse you and wash away evil and bad luck.
It is also for Thai people to honour their ancestors.
People visit temples and pour water over the Buddha statues as a good luck gesture and to purify their sole.
Young children practised on their elders and by doing this, then it just converted into a water flight.
Thai people still hold this ceremony sacred and in some ares it is celebrated for a week.
It is now noticed nationwide, even within the far south.
The most well-known Songkran celebrations are still within the northern metropolis of Chiang Mai .
Here it continues for six days and even longer but is fast becoming popular at all the main tourist areas of Thailand.
It has also changed into a celebration for foreigners and is one of the most popular times for people to visit Thailand.
It is a very busy time in Thailand, so bars and clubs do a roaring trade on these days.
Most importantly, stay safe and do not get upset if you get wet. After all, that is what the day is for.
Accommodation for Songkran in Thailand
Thailand Hotels Search
Thailand and Asia Trains, Ferries, Buses, Planes Timetables and Prices
Thailand Travel Blog
Search other articles and areas of Thailand in our Thailand Travel Blog