Songkran Water Festival


Songkran Festival or also known as the Thailand Water Festival, is the most important festival for Thai people. Celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year, Thai people sprinkle water on the elders in a show of respect and pay respect to Buddha images. Today much more enthusiasm is shown during the annual event which turns the streets into a full blown water fight.


Songkran is celebrated with gusto in Chiang Mai

Songkran is celebrated with gusto in Chiang Mai

When is the Songkran Festival?

The annual Songkran Festival was previously worked out based on the Thai lunar calendar, but in recent years it is now celebrated on the same date each year. The Songkran Water Festival now falls on 13-15 April yearly, though the celebration usually starts before and ends a few days after the official holiday. If these days fall on a weekend, the missed days off are taken on the weekdays immediately following.

Songkran dates 2013
Songkran 2013 falls from 13 April 2013 to 17 April 2013. (extended due to weekend)

Songkran dates 2014
Songkran 2014 falls from Wednesday, 13 April 2014 to Friday, 165 April 2014. (extended due to weekend)

Songkran dates 2015
Songkran 2015 falls from 13 April 2015 to 15 April 2015.


Songkran Celebrations

Thai National Holiday

Songkran is the most important festival for Thais and is a Thai national holiday. While the Songkran holiday is for just 3 days, often the Thais take the whole week off. Most Public offices will just be closed for the 3 days.

Water Fights

The Songkran Festival is very closely associated with water. Traditionally, people would sprinkle water over elders and family to give good fortune, but now it has evolved into spraying strangers on the streets with water, either with water pistols or even throwing buckets of water, all in the spirit of good fun.

Tourists often have mixed feelings about this with some loving it and others hating it. Some will avoid traveling to Thailand during the Songkran festival period, but many re-arrange their travel plans to coincide with the festival and join in the fun of Songkran.

Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Paying Respect to Buddha

Many Thai people celebrate Songkran by visiting Buddhist temples to pay respect to Buddha and to give alms to Buddhist monks. People also clean Buddha images in the temple by gently pouring water on them.

Major Songkran Celebrations Around Thailand

  • Chiang Mai Songkran Festival, Chiang Mai
  • Sukhothai Songkran Festival
  • Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival
  • The Great Songkran Day Suphan Buri Province
  • Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakan
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat Songkran Festival
  • Songkran on the Beach & Phuket Bike Week
  • Hat Yai Midnight Songkran Festival, Songkhla
  • Chon Buri Songkran Festival
  • Songkran Festival and Dok Khun Siang Khaen Festival on Khao Nieo Road
  • Nakhon Phanom Songkran Festival
  • Nong Khai Songkran Festival


Have you been to a Songkran Festival in Thailand? Why not write a review and share your experiences below!

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Updated: February 4, 2013 by admin

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