|2016||13 - 15 April||Wednesday - Friday|
|2017||13 - 15 April||Thursday - Saturday|
|2018||13 - 15 April||Friday - Sunday|
|2019||13 - 14 April||Saturday- Sunday|
|2020||13 - 15 April||Monday - Wednesday|
Songkran Festival, the traditional New Year's Day in Thailand, is one of the most significant festivals of the country and is a blend of tradition as well as fun. The festival also marks the start of the summer. Celebrated in the month of April, the word Songkran comes from the Sanskrit language. The meaning of the word Songkran is the sun's passage from one sign of Zodiac to the other. The term has been derived from Makar Sankranti, which is a prominent festival celebrated in the month of January.
Traditionally, priests used to set the dates of Songkran but now-a-days, the festival is held on fixed dates.
One of the longest holidays in Thailand, in 2018, Songkran will be celebrated from April 13 to 15. The festivities will begin on Thursday and will go on through the weekend. The festival is not only the most popular in the country, but is also celebrated with great reverence by the Thai diaspora around the world.
Throwing water on one another has become a central part of the festival. So, if you are visiting Thailand during this time of the year, there are chances that you may be drenched in water. However, since it is a hot month, you would like getting drenched. Songkran, which is the Thai Water Festival, witnesses people throwing water on one another. Roads, which are closed to Traffic on this day, are turned into arenas. Groups of people can seen indulging in water fights. People drench one another or passersby with water guns or containers full of water. You may also find people standing at the corners of the streets with hoses and unsuspecting people who pass by many find themselves drenched. Chalk is also a prominent part of the celebrations. Monks used to bless people with chalks. Hence, people cover one another with copious amounts of chalk.
People begin the day with merit-making, which is a central concept in Buddhism. One may see people making offerings to the temples such as giving sand for construction or repair. People also visit local temples to offer their prayers and also provide food to Buddhist monks. People also pour water on the statues of Buddha. This ritual signifies purity as well as the washing away of one's sins. It is also considered to dispel bad luck. The younger people pay their respects to their elders by pouring water on their palms and also giving them new clothes. People, on this day, may also release fish and birds.
People thoroughly clean their houses before the Songkran festival. This is done so that there will be no bad luck or misfortune on New Year's Day. On Songkran people also return to their hometown to spend the New Year with their family and other relatives. On the day, a number of entertaining events are held. These include parades, carnivals, and beauty contests. On Songkran, large processions are also held throughout the country where people carry the images of Buddha. The final day of the festival is April 15. On this concluding day, people leave offerings at temples as a way to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
Songkran is also popular outside of Thailand and the local versions of the festival are celebrated in the nations of Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. It is also celebrated in the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and by the ethnic minorities in Yunnan, which is located in southern China.
Last Updated: 9th April, 2018