Thailand celebrates Songkran during the hottest month of the year. Songkran is when locals and tourists splash water on each other to signify cleansing before entering a brand new year.
Traditionally, people pour water over Buddha statues and other cultural emblems for good luck. However, in modern celebrations, many fill the streets to enjoy the festival by participating in friendly water gun fights.
Whether you want an adventurous street party or a relaxing stay at one of the luxury villas in Phuket, the Songkran Festival has much to offer. Check out our suggested activities and what to expect for this year’s four-day Songkran celebration!
What To Expect In This Year’s Songkran
This 2023, we can anticipate Songkran to remain colorful, vibrant, and energetic as it returns after a long break. Here are just some of the best activities you can expect this year:
1. Vibrant and Lively Streets
Expect to rave with high-frequency music heard on the streets as you travel through Bangkok, Phuket, Patong, and other neighboring cities. Each location is filled with locals wearing colorful traditional clothes, dancing around as they splash water and colored powders at each station.
2. Lively Water Fights
To symbolize the cleansing for the new year, people prepare buckets of ice-cold water to splash on other locals and tourists. Expect a flood of energetic people having fun, dancing around, and overall frolicking all over the street while splashing water against each other.
3. Exciting Nightlife
The festivities don’t end when the sunsets. There are still plenty of things to do at night during Songkran. You may feast on a sumptuous dinner, refreshing beverages, and cocktails from local bars and restaurants. Additionally, beach clubs and bars will likely hold special concerts or host parties during Songkran. Otherwise, you can cap the day off with a relaxing ambiance of spas, breathtaking luxury villas, and comfy accommodations.
Best Songkran Activities to Try
Whether you’re a first-time Songkran celebrant or you’ve experienced it all before, the festival’s comeback is much-anticipated, bringing forth some of the country’s most exciting activities.
1. Engage in legendary water fights
Above all the exhilarating activities, Songkran is mainly known for the friendly street water fights. At the height of the festivities, locals and tourists pelt each other with buckets, water cannons, and hoses. This is a great way to beat the heat and join in the celebration.
2. Visit temples to pray for good fortune and to make merit
Offering contributions, burning incense, and paying homage to Buddha statues in Temples are great ways to participate in Songkran. One example is washing one’s hands or head, wearing a bracelet, or getting a monk’s blessing.
Related Article: A Guide to Visiting Temples in Koh Samui
3. Indulge in traditional Thai food
There are many restaurants open during Songkran that take advantage of the influx of local and international tourists visiting their establishments to indulge in Thai cuisine. Meanwhile, there’s also an abundance of street food stalls that prepare and serve special delicacies during Songkran, like mango sticky rice and coconut ice cream.
4. Watch the parades
Songkran is the time for many cities to have parades complete with dancers, musicians, and floats. This is a beautiful opportunity to experience the local customs and revel in the celebratory mood.
5. Check out some cultural activities
During Songkran, many locals conduct cultural shows and activities for tourists and other locals interested in witnessing, like traditional dances, shadow puppetry, Muay Thai demonstrations, mask dancing, and beauty pageants. Participating in these cultural activities is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with Thai customs.
6. Enjoy the refreshing pool parties
During Songkran, many hotels and beach clubs will host special pool parties to help their guests cool down under the sun. These parties are for those who want to enjoy a fun vacation in Thailand and experience the exciting Songkran festivities. Each venue offers something different regarding drinks, design, and food, so choose which one fits you the best. However, most of them are guaranteed to provide great music and a dance floor!
7. Visit malls and have a shopping spree
While most major establishments are closed during Songkran, shopping malls remain open for locals and tourists. They join the celebration by setting up displays and hosting special events that glorify Songkran, all while shopping in your favorite stores or having snacks at the food court.
Related Article: 2 Major Shopping Malls in Koh Samui
Be Captivated by Thailand Songkran Festival
Immerse yourself in Thai culture and traditions by celebrating the world’s most famous water festival, Songkran. Explore Thailand’s beauty and natural wonders deeply sewn into their religion and customs by joining the once-in-a-year cultural celebration. Enjoy your luxurious retreat while the city presents fun-filled water activities, bright-colored powders, and lively music.
Featured Image: Forbidden Hill