Song Kran – The most important festival in Thailand

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Song Kran Festival is the traditional New Year festival in Thailand which is occurred in three days, from April 13th to April 15th. During the festival, there are a lot of activities throughout the country. The highlight of this festival is splashing water. It is seen as a way to show their respect to the Buddha.

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The origin of Song Kran

According to the Wikipedia, “ Song Kran” comes from the Sanskrit word. It means “The time when the sun goes from the Zodiac to the Taurus region of the universe,” People greet the Buddha’s Birthplace by spraying water on each other to wash away the sadness of the Old Year. People go to the temple to take part in the Buddha bathing and bring fruit and vegetarian food offerings to the monks They also release the birds to the sky.

The time of Song Kran

This festival occurs in three days, starting with Wan Sungkharn Long. In the first day, people clean their house to wash away old things and wait for a new year. On the second day – Wan Nao, people prepare food for following days.  Wan Payawan is the first day of the New year and also the birthday of Buddha. In that day, the Buddha bathing is celebrated in all pagodas with the attendance of many people. After this celebration, people take part in “throwing water” festival. In some places, people also throw flour at each other.

Songkran festival (via travelandtourworld)

Where is the Songkran celebrated

The Songkran is celebrated everywhere in Thailand. However, each region has its own celebration. The most interesting places of this festival are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai because they still retain historic tradition.

Songkran festival in Bangkok

In Bangkok, Songkran occurs in many areas around Banglamphu, Khao San Road, Rattanakosin Royal Square, Phra Athit, Santhichaiprakan and Wisut Krasat Road. Immerse yourself in the splashing water on the streets, you will feel like you’re in the Hollywood action movie. Remember to leave your electric devices and money at the hotel in case they’re watered.

Songkran in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai, you can participate in the opening parade. You can also splash jasmine water on the Buddha or elder people, admire the Lanna traditional show or enjoy food on the streets. To take part in the Buddha bath celebration, you can go the famous temple Phra Buddha Sihing. You can go to Urban Culture street to watch the beauty contest and enjoy international cuisine.

Songkran in Pattaya

In Pattaya – the land of rice, Songkran festival is also an occasion to pray for the next harvest. The splashing water activities happen every street. In addition, you have opportunity to see parades and cultural events on the Beach street. The Miss Songkran is also celebrated.

Songkran in Phuket

Besides “totally got wet”, visiting relatives and praying are important activities of Songkran festival in Phuket. The local people also use perfume to clean house, the Buddha and altar to wish luck. If you’re tourists, you can take part in the donation and the Buddhist procession and splash perfume on elder people to show your respect. Don’t miss the interesting activities at Loma park, harbors, and Jungceylon even center.

Songkran festival (via event-carnival.com)

Songkran in Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen is the city located along the way from Bangkok to Udon Thani. Known as the land of sticky rice, Khon Kaen promises to bring you fascinating activities such as the colorful ox cart parade, the food fair and iron ball throwing competition.

What you should do in the festival

–    Don’t give alms
–    Use the anti-water bag to protect your belongings.
–    Take care your belongings to avoid being stolen.
–    Use public transportation to reduce the traffic jam.
–    Say “Sawasdee Pee Mai” to Thai people to wish them a happy and lucky new year.
–    Play hard.

What you should not do

–    Don’t throw too much water in the monks, babies and elder people.
–    Don’t drive when you drink alcohol
–    Don’t throw dusty water or cold water to others.
–    Don’t throw water to those who are driving.

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