Everything You Need to Know About Songkran 2019
Nowhere does a festival like Thailand does, and the ultimate festival of Songkran 2019 is fast approaching. Songkran marks Thai new year, and this is no shy and retiring celebration. Instead this is a riotous street party with music, color and a hell of a lot of getting wet!
Songkran 2019 Falls In April This Year
The exact dates of Songkran can change slightly year on year depending on the religious calendar, but this year they fall from Saturday 13th April to Tuesday 16th April. The word Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit word samkranti, meaning astrological passage or change, and it symbolizes rebirth and a fresh start for the year ahead.
This is a festival with some heritage…
You might also hear Songkran being called the Water Festival, and with good reason. What’s the best way to purify yourself and emerge reborn for the year ahead? Washing, of course! And there are a ton of people happy to get you as wet as possible to help you do just that!
Songkran in Thailand basically explodes into a huge water fight. Neighbors soak neighbors, strangers chuck water out of car windows and absolutely everybody ends up soaked by the end of the day. If you’re not sure whether this sounds like your type of thing then just remember that April is blooming hot in Thailand, so actually a good soaking can be quite welcome. Also the water washes away your sins which to be honest is probably a very good thing for most of us!
If you haven’t started your backpacking trip and are coming from home, bring a Super Soaker to really dominate the water fight!
The Spiritual Side of Songkran
In addition to the water-based fun, Songkran is also a serious Buddhist festival and on the second day of celebrations the more devout members of the population will be found at their local temples. The ritual of ‘Bathing the Buddha’ by pouring water on his image, as well as on the hands of local monks, helps to prove their devotion and purify their soul for the year ahead.
Where to Celebrate Songkran 2019
If you’re in Bangkok then our advice is to go to Wat Pho for the official opening ceremony and then to head to Silom for the nation’s biggest street party. With a stretch of road over 4 kilometers long, there’s plenty of space here for just about everyone in the capital to converge for a massive water fight!
If you’re in Chiang Mai then you can join the opening procession round the old city on April 12th, and then hang out at the Chiang Mai gate and the Thapae Gate across the weekend to join in the water-flinging fun.
We’ll be running Songkran 2019 parties at each Bodega location, so stay tuned for details!
All across Thailand, cheering crowds using water pistols, water balloons, buckets and anything else that holds water all compete to soak each other the most, and if you throw yourself into it then you’re a legitimate target too. If you’re elsewhere in the country then there will still be some celebrations nearby; all you have to do is listen out for the screams and laughs to find out where the action is!