Songkran or Water Festival is Thai New Year captures the imagination of travellers for both its cultural and fun attributes; the latter being enthusiastic bouts of water splashing between friends and relatives.
In Bangkok, the Songkran Water Festivals 2013 will be held between Date 13 and 16 April around the Rattanakosin Island district.
The main celebrations, in the capital, focus on bathing rites of replicas of revered Buddha images originating from various provinces in the North, South, East and central regions, interspersed with traditional food and dessert-making demonstrations and cultural performances.
The opening ceremony will take place, 11 April 2013, at Phra Chetupon Wimol Manklaram or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
An occasion for family reunions and temple visits, Songkran begins with the “Rod Nam Dum Hua” ritual which is officially called the National Elderly Day. This ritual involves young people pouring fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a sign of humility and to ask for their blessings. Another important ritual during this water festival is bathing the Buddha, where worshipers pour fragrant water over Buddha statues at the temples and at homes. People in Thailand also splash water at each other to symbolically wash off all misfortunes.
There are also important celebrations through the country at various tourist destinations:
• Old City Songkran Festival, Ayutthaya
• Songkran Festival, Chon Buri
• Amazing Songkran, Suphan Buri
• Phra Pradaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakarn
• Songkran Festival, Chiang Mai
• Songkran Festival, Sukhothai
• Fantastic Northeast Songkran, Golden Shower Tree and ‘Kan’ Festival and Sticky Rice Road in Khon Kaen
• Grand Northeast Songkran Festival, Nong Khai
• Songkran Nakhon Phnom and Thai-Lao New Year Celebration
• Hat Yai Midnight Songkran, Songkhla
• Grand Songkran Festival and ‘Nang Dan’ Parade, Nakhon Si Thammarat
• Songkran on the Beach
Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival
April 10 2013 – April 15 2013
Experience the demonstration of the Songkran Festival in 4 regions, pouring some scented water to the Buddha Image, enjoy various tasty dishes and cultural performance at Nagaraphirom Park during 10-15 April, 2012 at 10.00-20.00 hrs. (the Opening Ceremony will be held on 9 April, 2013). Visit the Royal Temple such as Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Pho, Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Ratchaorasaram, Wat Ratchaphradit, Wat Ratchabophit, Wat Bowornniwet, Wat Suthat, Wat Phraram Kao, Wat Chanasongkhram, Wat Saket (The Golden Mount), Wat Rakhang, and Wat Kanlayanamit. Moreover, partake in the Songkran Festival in Rattanakosin Royal Square and ts neighboring (Bang Lamphu, Khaosan Rd., Phra Athit Rd., Santhichaiprakan and Wisut Krasat) (During 9-17 April, 2013, at 10.00-18.00 hrs. Please visit an information booth of each temple for getting a passport to collect the stamp of each temple for receiving a souvenir at Wat Pho).
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival
April 13 2013 – April 13 2013
Offering alms to monks in front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit. Pouring water on the hands of elders to receive their blessing. Water splashing with elephants. Offering alms in accordance with the Mon tradition, and bathing the Buddha image by pouring water through a bamboo gutter. Admire the procession of traditional Mon flags. Dress in Mon costumes and try Mon traditional cuisine.
Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival, Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival, Samut Prakan
April 22, 2013 – April 24, 2013
One of the only places in Thailand that celebrates the Songkran Festival in the Raman style, featuring a magnificent parade. Experience how to play saba the Raman folk play and various forms of entertainment.
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival
April 12, 2013 – April 15, 2013
One of the grand Songkran celebrations in Thailand. Participate in the Opening Ceremony of the Songkran Festival 2013 with a wonderful procession around Chiang Mai city. Pour some Thai scented water on a Buddha image and elders, experience the cultural performances and traditions in the Northern style as well as enjoy various food along the streets.
Isan Songkran Festival, Dok Khun Siang Khaen Festival, and Khao Niao Street
April 11, 2013 – April 18, 2013
- Songkran Festival Opening Ceremony at 200 Years Park stage on April 11, 2013 at 7.00 pm.
- Mountain Bike Competition, Volleyball, Petanque Competition for the Royal Cup from HRH Princess Sirindhorn, cooking contest, OTOP product fair
- Thai Dance at Democracy Monument, Si Chan Rd. on April 12, 2012 at 6.00 pm.
- Giving Food Offerings Ceremony at Fountain Park, Kaen Nakhon Lake, at 6.30 am.
- Flora Cart and Songkran Procession from Fountain Park, Kaen Nakhon Lake to Khao Niao Street on April 13, 2013 at 10.00 am.
- Khao Niao Street Opening Ceremony at Khon Kaen City Pillar Shrine at 11.19 am.
- Human Wave for World Record from 7.00 pm onwards.
- Family Day Ceremony at Khao Niao Street on April 14, 2012
Wanlai Pattaya Na Klue Festival
April 18, 2013 – April 20, 2013
Offering alms to monks, pour some Thai scented water on a Buddha image, enjoy folk plays and various forms of entertainment, as well as have refreshing fun splashing water on each other along the beach.