Thai New Year or Songkran is the Thai New Year’s national holiday. Songkran is on 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. Forget the ball drop and clinking champagne flutes! Songkran, Thailand’s New Year, is a three-day extravaganza that throws a bucket (or should we say, a super soaker full) of awesome on the traditional January 1st celebration.

The World’s Biggest Water Fight

Imagine the ultimate water balloon fight, but instead of balloons, picture a sea of Thais and tourists armed with water guns and buckets, ready to transform the streets into a giant, joyous water battleground. It’s a refreshing escape from the April heat, a symbolic washing away of bad luck, and a guaranteed way to get soaked with smiles!

More Than Just a Splash

Songkran is about so much more than just a water fight. It’s a time for families to reunite, visit temples, and honor their ancestors. Here’s where things get interesting:

  • The “Seven Dangerous Days”: Be mindful! The week around Songkran is known for this due to increased travel and celebratory spirits. Buckle up and stay safe on the roads!


Songkran, Thailand’s vibrant New Year celebration, is rooted in something far older – the movement of the stars. The word “Songkran” itself comes from the ancient Sanskrit term “saṅkrānti,” which means “to move” or “movement.”

Here’s where it gets interesting: according to this literal meaning, a Songkran happens every month! But the Songkran we all know and love – the one filled with water fights and joyous celebrations – coincides with a very specific movement: the sun’s shift from Pisces to Aries in the zodiac.

Your Songkran Survival Guide

Ready to dive headfirst (or should we say, bellyflop) into the Songkran fun? Here are some tips to make you a splashing pro:

  • Appropriate Dress: Quick-drying clothes and waterproof sandals are your best friends. Don’t forget a funky waterproof phone case to capture those hilarious (and potentially embarrassing) moments!
  • Be Ready For Chaos! Don’t be shy – join the water fight and let loose! Grab a water gun from a street vendor and prepare to get playful.
  • Prepare Small Bills: You’ll need them for water guns, delicious street food, and making merit at temples.
  • Respect the Culture: Be mindful of how you splash, avoid drenching monks or those holding religious items, and remember, a gentle pour is always appreciated.
  • Go Beyond the Splash: Experience the true spirit of Songkran. Visit a temple to witness merit-making ceremonies and learn about Thai Buddhism. Savor traditional Songkran food like Khao Chae (a savory rice salad) sold by street vendors.

Bonus Tip: Learn a few basic Thai phrases like “Sawasdee Phap Mai” (Happy New Year) to truly immerse yourself in the cultural experience.

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