When it comes to travel, Thailand remains one of the most captivating corners of the world. The magic of Thailand is undiminished with the festival of Songkran being one of the most alluring.
In 2021, local Thais will be celebrating Songkran with their families and loved ones following the government safety measures and “new normal” guidelines.
In addition to in-person festivities, people far and wide are welcomed to attend a brand new Virtual Songkran Thai New Year event: “Spring Into Songkran Splendors.”
If you missed the virtual event, you can watch it below:
Celebrating From Home at the Virtual Songkran Thai New Year: “Spring Into Songkran Splendors”
If you’re interested in participating in the festivities but can’t attend in person, you’re invited to attend Thailand’s New Year Celebration live from Chiang Mai! Experience the culture and traditions of Songkran from the comfort of your home with a festive sequence of events.
The exclusive event will begin with a warm welcome on the introduction to Songkran and Thailand tourism updates. Guests will learn about the Baan Rai Kong Khing Community and the traditions of Thai wellness from the Village Head, Mr. Somsak Inthachai. The owner of the Patara Elephant Farm, a family-run conservation organization specializing in health recovery for domestic elephants, will discuss responsible elephant experiences in Thailand. Chef Arnold Myint will be in the kitchen teaching how to cook one of Thailand’s favorite local dishes, Thai Papaya Salad.
And of course, there will be a Q&A for all questions or comments!
Thailand is excited to bring the festivities to you and can’t wait for you to experience and learn all about the traditions of Songkran. The Virtual Songkran Thai New Year, “Spring Into Songkran Splendors,” will go Live on Thursday, April 8th at 8 – 9 pm ET, 5 – 6 pm PT, and 7 – 8 am Thailand time. To attend the event, RSVP by visiting this link.
With the return of the cultural and traditional activities, Thailand is gearing up for yet another amazing celebration with responsible safety measures put into place, including social distancing and capacity restrictions. Here’s what you need to know to celebrate Songkran like a pro.
What is Songkran?
Songkran is the Thai New Year celebration that starts in the middle of April, running from the 13th to the 15th. While it’s cold and dreary in other parts of the world, April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand.
Songkran is one of the most celebrated traditions in Thailand. The festival’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word, Songkran, meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching.’ The festival symbolizes the passing from an old year into a new one.
The history of the Songkran traditions comes from the blessings and prayers for Buddhist Monks. Visitors would provide gifts of food for the monks that resided in the local monasteries. A holy cleansing process would take place where scented water was poured over the monks with prayers and blessings.
Locals would collect the water to bring it home to their families and friends, where they would then rub and pour the blessed water over one another.
Songkran is the perfect time to visit the statues of Buddha, as his statues are widely venerated across Thailand during Songkran. Whether you are a practicing Buddhist or not, the beautiful craftsmanship of his statues is something for everyone to appreciate. You will also get a priceless and authentic glimpse into the soul of the Thai people on Songkran as they celebrate this special occasion.
The first day of Songkran falls on the 13th, Grand Songkran Day, which is the first day of the year according to the lunar calendar. The second day is Thailand’s National Family Day, where Thai families gather to spend quality time together on Songkran and have their special traditions. On the last day, National Elderly Day, younger family members pour jasmine-scented water from a silver cup over the hands of their elders to pay respects to their older family members.
If you have friends in Thailand, you may be lucky enough to be invited to a family Songkran celebration.
How to Celebrate Songkran
Celebrating Songkran is a joy among the Thai people, and it’s an excellent opportunity to visit Thailand for a good time regardless of where you’re from, there’s something for everyone.
If you want to celebrate it traditionally, you can travel to one of Thailand’s countless temples for an authentic Songkran experience. In the temples, you will see and may participate in the pouring of water over images of Buddha. You can also watch people construct sculptures out of sand. If you want an authentic look at how the Thai people honor their temples on Songkran, be sure to get up early and walk by the temples before the rest of the festivities begin.
It is common for locals to sprinkle or splash water as a tradition amongst the Thai people throughout the New Year Celebrations. The water is meant to offer blessings.
The Thai New Year celebration of Songkran is also a time to wear festive, colorful clothing and offer food to monks. The Thai people make a point of leaving food for their ancestors over Songkran. Different towns will feature different events throughout the Songkran celebrations. Some will host parades, beauty pageants, and other contests.
Find a Fresh Start by Celebrating Songkran in Thailand or Virtually
Songkran is celebrated all across Thailand, meaning you can find fun festivities to enjoy no matter where you go. The streets of Bangkok will be full of exciting sights and a joyous exchange of blessings. If you want a more intimate experience, travel outside of the capital and into the lush Thai countryside. Thailand is an enchanted land with breathtaking lakes, magnificent mountains, and majestic forests graced with some of the most exotic wildlife the world has to offer.
The larger meaning of Songkran is to celebrate a fresh start, which is something to appreciate regardless of whether you’re attending as a local, a visitor, or virtually from your home. If you are making a fresh start for yourself, break it in style by celebrating Songkran and experiencing the magic of Thailand. You will feel refreshed and gain a new perspective on life and the world.
Whether you’re a busy college student looking for unique experiences or a seasoned professional seeking peace and authenticity, Thailand is the place to find it. You owe it to yourself to experience the magic of Songkran in Thailand and give yourself a fresh start.