1. What is Songkran?
Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival. An important event on the Buddhist calendar, this water festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’.
2. What year is it in Thailand?
In Thailand, 2019 is actually the year of 2562. The Thai calendar begins with the death of Buddha 543 years before the start of the Christian calendar.
3. How do the people of Thailand celebrate Songkran?
Water is an important element of Songkran, especially in more recent times. If you’re visiting Thailand, don’t be surprised if you get splashed. Crowds of people roam around throwing buckets of water, using water pistols and just generally soaking anyone in the vicinity. Appreciation of family is another important aspect of the festival, with many Thai people making their way to their hometowns to spend time with older relatives.
4. How do people celebrate Songkran in Thailand?
Songkran Splendours Festival which is taking place this year from April 13th to 15th. The official opening ceremony is held at Wat Pho, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand and home to a spectacular, giant gold-plated reclining Buddha. Many other celebrations are held on and around the Khao San Road, which is one of the most popular areas in the world amongst backpackers. Events during the festival include water throwing, the ritual bathing of Buddha images, processions and performances. A tempting array of traditional foods can also be enjoyed throughout the celebrations.
As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok has more places to party than anywhere else. The biggest, brashest parties are found in two places in particular:
- Khao San Road (the backpacking heartland of Bangkok)
- Silom Road (the entire road closed off to traffic)
- S20 Festival at Live Park
- Tha Pae Gate in the Old City. There are parties taking place along the entirety of the moat, with a more chilled and local experience available at the many temples within the Old City.
- Surin Beach
- Patong Beach & Bangla Road
- Chaweng Beach as there are parties on the beach and in all of the bars and clubs around Soi Green Mango.
- For a more traditional side of in Samui, head to the west coast, especially around Na Thorn, as the local fishermen and their families also love to celebrate Thai New Year and you will be more than welcome to join in.