Songkran is The Land of Smiles’ splashiest festival. Literally! Every April 13 to 15 the entire country partakes in a mass water fight in honour of the Thai new year.
Slip and slide down for five fast facts about this wet, wild and wonderful wingding.
Young or old. Local or tourist. If you’re on the streets during Songkran, expect to get drenched. Our advice: arm yourself with water guns or balloons and soak ’em right back.
It’s Traditionally Buddhist
The festival is technically Buddhist, however, it’s become somewhat synonymous with Thailand. That said, you can find smaller versions of the celebration in other Buddhist countries such as India and Malaysia.
Water is Cornerstone
In Buddhism, water is considered symbolic of cleansing. It’s an important element, especially during the country’s long dry season which overlaps with Songkran.
Cleansing and Cleaning are also Important
Between water fights, the Thai also spend Songkran washing each of their Buddha statues. Some even believe you’ll earn good karma cleaning your house.
It’s a Time for Family
Thai people make a special point to visit family members, especially grandparents and seniors over the holiday. Elders hold a special place in the festival and youth are encouraged to gently pour water over their grandparents as a sign of cleansing and good will.
More than Just Water
While it’s hard to ignore the aquatic debauchery, there are other traditions associated with the festival as well. For example, Thai people believe tying a white string around another’s wrist will bring good fortune. On the flip, they’ll ward off bad fortune by applying a white paste to their face and neck.