The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 12 to 16 April 2018.

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New year traditions

Songkran Festival in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya[/caption]

Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. The morning begins with merit-making. Visiting local temple and offering food to the Buddhist monks are commonly practiced. However, on this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away all of their sins and bad luck. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return homes to their loved ones and elder family members. As a way to show respect, younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands. On the same occasion, paying reverence to ancestors is also an important part of Songkran tradition.

The holiday is known for its iconic water festival, which is mostly celebrated by young people. Major streets are closed for transportation means and are used for as arenas for water fights. Celebrants, young or old, participate in this tradition by splashing water on each other. More importantly, traditional parades are held, where cars are decorated with traditional ornaments. Also, central festival often holds pageant contest, or “Miss Songkran” where contestants are dressed in traditional Thai clothing.

Bangkok 2018

During Songkran, Bangkok experiences a mass exodus as at least half of its residents travel back to their hometowns for family reunions. In their place are tourists, who fly into Bangkok particularly to enjoy one of the most colorful and festive times of the year. During Songkran, most office buildings, banks and even family-run shops and restaurants shut down completely, while big shopping malls usually remain open. Where to Party? As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok has more places to party than anywhere else. The biggest, brashest parties are found in two places in particular:  – Khao San Road (the backpacking heartland of Bangkok)  – Silom Road (the entire road closed off to traffic)

Read more at http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/songkran-guide.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Chiang Mai 2018

Songkran in Chiang Mai is easily the wettest – and probably the most fun – of any of the nationwide celebrations of the Thai Buddhist New Year. Bangkok’s parties may be the biggest and Pattaya’s are the longest, but nowhere sees as much water flying as Chiang Mai, which makes it one of the most popular places in the whole of Southeast Asia to visit in mid-April, particularly with overseas tourists and backpackers. Where to Party? That’s easy – head to Tha Pae Gate in the Old City and enjoy a full 4km of water fighting along the old moat that once protected the city and its inhabitants. Street stalls sell all you might need and large sound systems are set up to entertain you along the route. There are parties taking place along the entirety of the moat, with a more chilled and local experience available at the many temples within the Old City.

Read more at http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/songkran-guide.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

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Phuket 2018

As Thailand’s most popular beach destination, Phuket sees wild celebrations during Songkran. All three days of the New Year break has developed into an orgy of water throwing using buckets and water guns. Even the police in Phuket will get involved, swapping their firearm for a water pistol for a few days. In the past, Songkran in Phuket was celebrated mainly on the first day but in recent years you will find a morning till night party consumes the island for a solid three days. Where to Party? Patong Beach is home to the most raucous scenes during Songkran, unsurprisingly when you consider this is where you will find the most bars and the best nightlife. There is a parade, a Miss Songkran beauty pageant and an intense water fight along Soi Bangla. Read More…

Read more at http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/songkran-guide.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Revellers use water guns as they participate in a water fight during Songkran Festival celebrations at Silom road in Bangkok...Revellers use water guns as they participate in a water fight during Songkran Festival celebrations at Silom road in Bangkok April 13, 2015. The Songkran festival, also known as the water festival, marks the start of Thailand's traditional New Year and is believed to wash away bad luck. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Revellers use

Pattaya 2018

Pattaya is known as a party city so it should come as no surprise that Songkran festivities last longer here than anywhere else in Thailand. There will be water fights going on during the regular Songkran days (13th-15th April) but, uniquely, Pattaya celebrates into the following week too. Known in Thai as the Wan Lai Festival, this year the biggest day of revelry will be on April 19th so if you arrive in Thailand a little late this is your last chance to party. Where to Party? Everybody is armed with a water dispenser of some description. Some favor the semi-traditional bucket, many go for a water gun and some use Heath Robinson high-pressure hoses made from a length of plastic plumbing pipe with a small hole at one and a plunger at the other. Beach Road is cut off to traffic and stages are set up for live music and foam machines. The fire department parks their engines here, filling numerous water butts for revelers to reload their soakers from. On the roads that do allow vehicles, the main ones become a slow-moving traffic jam. Pick-up trucks are turned into mobile parties, with their own water butts, the radio on full volume and many young Thais strafing pedestrians and other vehicles from the back.

Read more at http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/songkran-guide.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

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Koh Samui 2018

Songkran in Samui is not as intense as, say Pattaya or Phuket, but it is still one of Thailand’s most fun celebrations with events taking place in all major beach towns. You will find makeshift parties throughout Samui and anyone is welcome to turn up and join in the fun! Local children are driven around the island in the back of a pick-up truck and will stop to have skirmishes with you which is always fun (just be aware they use melted ice water which is a shock to the senses. Where to Party? If you are looking for a no-holds-barred party, head to Chaweng Beach as there are parties on the beach and in all of the bars and clubs around Soi Green Mango. For a more traditional side of in Samui, head to the west coast, especially around Na Thorn, as the local fishermen and their families also love to celebrate Thai New Year and you will be more than welcome to join in.

Read more at http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/songkran-guide.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Join this Songkran Festival in Thailand on the coming April 2018.

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