Thailand’s biggest festival ‘Songkran’, is an annual Thai New Year celebration that takes place across three days in April. Also known as the biggest water fight in the world, Songkran is celebrated throughout major cities across Thailand. Everything from traditional temple ceremonies to wet and wild music festivals can be found in the heart of Bangkok during Songkran. Check out Rad’s Guide to Songkran in Bangkok and brace yourself for an epic new year celebration! Read more
Songkran is an annual celebration that takes place in April each year. The dates generally vary between the 13th and 14th of April, depending on the timing of the sun entering the astrological sign of Aries. The name ‘Songkran’ can be translated to ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’. In 2019, Songkran will be celebrated from the 13th to 15th of April.
Despite the nature of the event as well as the heat, it is recommended to remain clothed during the annual water celebration. Songkran is regarded as a religious festival in Thailand and visitors must be respectful of the local culture and traditions. Women in bikinis and shirtless men are very rarely seen throughout the event and it is recommended to dress appropriately and wear light and loose fitting clothing during the celebrations.
Bangkok is home to what might be the biggest water fight on earth. During Songkran, head down to Khao San Road, where the streets are transformed into the world’s biggest water fight. Aside from an epic water fight, the streets are also lined with bars and DJ booths; perfect to take a quick break from all the madness. Visitors can travel to Khao San Road via buses 151, 171 or 509 to Khok Wua Intersection, which is a short walk away from the festivities.
For a more spiritual celebration, check out Sanam Luang; located opposite the Grand Palace. Celebrations take place on the first day of Songkran, where the famous Phra Phuttha Sihing Buddha image is paraded along the streets. Locals and visitors gather to sprinkle fragrant water on the image, which is then left there for the rest of Songkran for those who are unable to participate on the first day, to visit and pour water on the sacred image. In addition to the sacred ritual, Sanam Luang also features carnival floats, dancing flash mobs, cultural shows and more; making it one of the most popular hotspots during Songkran. Visitors can travel to Sanam Luang via the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang Pier, followed by a short to the Grand Palace.
Wisutkasat is another popular hotspot in Bangkok and home to the annual Miss Songkran beauty contest. The contest showcases over 70 of Thailand’s ‘most beautiful women’ in traditional Thai costumes. You can also find the lesser known Mister Songkran Contest here as well. In addition to the contest, you can find parades, festive activities and some of the best food in Bangkok in Wisutkasat. Visitors can travel to Wisutkasat via the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Thewet Pier, followed by a short taxi or tuk tuk ride.
Bangkok regularly welcomes some of the biggest names in the world to the Thai capital and Songkran is the perfect excuse to bring some of the biggest headliners to the heart of the city. Alongside traditional celebrations, Bangkok also hosts a range of music festivals each year; with popular headlining acts, for some of the worlds wettest parties! Check out these epic Songkran Music Festivals and add one of them to your schedule!
S2O Songkran Music Festival
Siam Songkran Music Festival
Atlantis Water Festival
Protect your valuables – Ensure that your valuables, such as phones and cameras, are protected during the water fights. Visitors should invest in waterproof protection such as waterproof phone pouches or a waterproof diving bag. Also be aware of your surroundings and protective of your belongings as pickpocketing is still quite common; especially in large crowds.
Protect your eyes – Don’t forget to invest in eye protection. A pair of safety glasses or goggles will protect your eyes from the water fight throughout the event.
Be respectful of others – Despite Songkran being celebrated nationwide, some locals and visitors do not wish to take part in the festivities. Make sure to determine whether or not certain people are partaking in the water fight, or trying to avoid it; especially if they are not dressed for the occasion.
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