Just the Facts: Songkran Festival

Songkran01-2Songkran is The Land of Smiles’ splashiest festival. Literally! Every April 13 to 15 the entire country partakes in a mass water fight in honour of the Thai new year.

Slip and slide down for five fast facts about this wet, wild and wonderful wingding.

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Out Adventures is heading to Thailand April, 2019 for a cultural tour that culminates with Songkran.

Everyone participates.
Young or old. Local or tourist. If you’re on the streets during Songkran, expect to get drenched. Our advice: arm yourself with water guns or balloons and soak ’em right back.

It’s traditionally Buddhist. 
The festival is technically Buddhist, however, it’s become somewhat synonymous with Thailand. That said, you can find smaller versions of the celebration in other Buddhist countries such as India and Malaysia.

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Songkran is celebrated nation-wide. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai.

Water is a cornerstone.
In Buddhism, water is considered symbolic of cleansing. It’s an important element, especially during the country’s long dry season which overlaps with Songkran.

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Leave your cell phones at the hotel. No matter where you go during Songkran, you’re going to get drenched. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Cleansing and cleaning are also important.
Between water fights, the Thai also spend Songkran washing each of their Buddha statues. Some even believe you’ll earn good karma cleaning your house.

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Even tuk tuks aren’t safe! Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

It’s a time for family.
Thai people make a special point to visit family members, especially grandparents and seniors over the holiday. Elders hold a special place in the festival and youth are encouraged to gently pour water over their grandparents as a sign of cleansing and good will.

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Many traditions are attached to Songkran. Most of which involve variations of cleansing. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

More than just water.
While it’s hard to ignore the aquatic debauchery, there are other traditions associated with the festival as well. For example, Thai people believe tying a white string around another’s wrist will bring good fortune. On the flip, they’ll ward off bad fortune by applying a white paste to their face and neck.

Want to get soaking wet? Join Out Adventures in Thailand, April 2019.

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