Thailand Songkran Festival 2024: What to Know and How to Prepare
Thailand Songkran Festival 2024: What to Know and How to Prepare

Thailand Songkran Festival 2024: What to Know and How to Prepare


Thailand songkran festival

Every country has that one festival and holiday that the people look forward to all year, and for Thailand, it’s none other than the Songkran Festival. 2024 is extra special thanks to UNESCO’s inclusion of the festival as a world heritage. 

In response, Thailand’s government decided to go big on the Songkran Water Festival, extending the water-splashing traditions in prominent cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, and Phuket starting from the 11th to the 19th.

Before you visit Thailand this April, we are giving you everything you need to know about the Songkran Festival, how to prepare, what to avoid, and have a blast on your visit to celebrate one of the world’s biggest festivals.



The history and significance of the Songkran Festival
         1. Key events and traditions

Best places to celebrate Songkran in Thailand
        1 Bangkok
        2 Chonburi - Pattaya
        3 Phuket
        4 Chiang Mai

How to prepare for Songkran
       Some unspoken rules
       2 Tips for Songkran
       3 Traffic during Songkran  



History and Significance of the Songkran Festival

The Songkran festival shares traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism with origins tracing back to ancient India. The Songkran Festival marks the beginning of the new year for the Astrological chart as well as the end of the harvest season. It is a tradition shared with Southeast Asian countries and Thailand is home to one of the biggest celebrations.


1. Key Events and Traditions

Thai people place great emphasis on luck and prosperity and crossing over to the new year is the perfect time for a startover. We believe in cleansing ourselves, and our environment of last year’s bad luck and welcome the new year with a clean slate.

Families can be seen cleaning their houses and partaking in various traditional and religious ceremonies for blessing. Water is the main theme of Thai Songkran, after all, it is referred to as The Songkran Water Festival. Here are some of the ways you will find the locals doing to celebrate the Songkran Holiday.


🎉 Spring Cleaning

Families would come together and deep cleanse their houses as a way to get rid of last year’s bad luck in preparation for the new year. In Northern Thailand, people would put up traditional decorations that are unique to their regions.

Cleaning tradition in Songkran Water Festival in Thailand 


🎉 Visiting Temples

Visiting temples and making merit is a common theme in Buddhist countries especially on a traditional festival. People believe in charity and giving back to stock up on their good karma for the new year.

You will find a lot of Thais visiting temples to give alms to monks, pray, meditate, and release animals like birds, turtles, and fishes which can be an endearing sight to witness.

 Visiting temple as Songkran Water Festival in Thailand


🎉 Paying Respect to Elders

Songkran festival is the one time a year when young people return home for the holidays and celebrate with families. A notable tradition is to pour water over the hands and feet of older relatives to show gratitude and ask for forgiveness and blessing. This tradition draws a very symbolic role of water in the Songkran Festival in Thailand.

Paying respect to elders during Songkran Water Festival in Thailand


🎉 Annointing Water on Buddha Statues

Water continues to be a powerful symbol in celebrating Songkran Festivals. People of all ages come together to pour water on Buddha statues to ask for good fortune for the new year. 

Buddha statues will be paraded down the streets in prominent cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket where worshippers can pour scented water and offer flower garlands.

Pouring water on Buddha statue tradition Songkran Water Festival in Thailand


🎉 Water-gun fights - A modern twist on Songkran and water celebration

A celebration in the hottest month of the season comes with a lot of heat. In the older days, men and women with idle time at the end of the harvest season would come together to splash water. Now it has become the identity of the Thailand Songkran Festival. There are hotspots all over the country where people come to engage in this activity. Read on to find out where this takes place.

Songkran Water Festival in Thailand


4 Spots to Celebrate the Songkran Festival in Thailand

The Songkran festival shares traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism with origins tracing back to ancient India. The Songkran Festival marks the beginning of the new year for the Astrological chart as well as the beginning of the harvest season. It is a tradition shared with Southeast Asian countries and Thailand is home to one of the biggest celebrations.


1. Bangkok

With over 1 million expected visitors this Songkran Festival, Bangkok’s government is preparing for the biggest celebration from traditional ceremonies, parades, and water gun fights to big-name music festivals.

Songkran Water Festival in Thailand Bangkok 

Bangkok songkran celebration


💦 Water Splashing Spots and Music Festivals in Bangkok

  • Khao San Road
  • Si Lom
  • Central World
  • Siam Square
  • Iconsiam
  • Samyan Mitrtown.


Besides that, big-name music festivals are happening during Songkran featuring famous headliners like Zedd, Tiesto, The Chainsmokers, and Steve Aoki.


🙌 Celebrate Songkran in Bangkok traditionally

If you want to see the cultural and ritual aspect of the Songkran Festival, there are so many places in Bangkok you can attend, to take photos of the vibrant celebration or take part in the beautiful tradition.

The best way to see this lively tradition is to visit temples. Prominent temples in Bangkok host their merit and blessing rituals that the locals of all ages attend to seek blessing for their new year. Book a temples + canal boat tour and witness the local way of life during the big festivals.

Traditional way to celebrate Songkran Water Festival in Thailand



Or dress up in a traditional Thai outfit at Wat Arun like people in ancient times and take home cute photos.

You can also witness the Buddha Cleansing ceremony at Wat Suthat Thep Wararam on the 13th of April for a showcase of Thai culture.

Thai costume Songkran Water Festival in Thailand


2. Songkran Festival in Chonburi Pattaya

The party scene and beaches in Pattaya make this town an exciting location for the Songkran festival. The people of Chonburi celebrate the Songkran festival on the 13th-15th of April. 

The party does not stop for there is the Wan Lai festival on the 19th of April with water being the main theme so you can expect water gun fights to continue until the 19th of April.

 Songkran festival in Pattaya

Pattaya songkran water festival

Water Splashing Spots in Pattaya


🙌 Family-friendly way to join the festivity

If you want to celebrate the water festival but don’t want to be caught in the chaos, hit up one of Pattaya’s water parks. Each one with its way of celebrating the Songkran Festival. If you’ve got small children and want to join in the festivities, we recommend visiting Ramayana Waterpark.

The waterpark hosts plenty of activities for the Songkran Festival. From foam parties, to live bands, EDM, and free water guns for the young ones, the perfect way to relieve the dry season’s heat. We recommend securing your tickets ahead of time.

Ramayana water park during songkran festival


3. Phuket Songkran Celebration

An expat hub of Thailand, Phuket celebrates the Songkran Festival with its flair. With beautiful beaches, visitors can expect plenty of beach concerts, and activities.

Phuket songkran festival celebration 

Phuket songkran celebration spots


💦 Water Splashing Spots in Phuket

  • Patong
  • Bangla
  • Phuket Old Town
  • Lime Light Avenue Phuket


🙌 Other ways to enjoy Phuket

Visiting temples in Phuket and witness the religious celebration of the Songkran Water Festival. Experience the lively festival and watch the local's way of celebrating by booking a City Sight Seeing Tour.


4. Songkran in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is known for its rich culture and history, and the locals take their festivals seriously. Celebrating Songkran in Chiang Mai gives you a sense of Thai heritage from the parades, performances, and dances that you will surely come across when visiting Chiang Mai during Songkran. 

If you are in Chiang Mai during the Songkran Water Festival, here are places you should visit.

Celebrate songkran festival in Chiang Mai 

 Chiang Mai Songkran water festival


💦 Water Splashing Spots in Chiang Mai

  • Around Chiang Mai moats
  • Central Chiang Mai
  • Tha Phae Gate


🙌 Traditional ways to celebrate Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Kick off the ceremony at dawn at Tha Phae Gate to watch hundreds of locals giving alms to monks in a tradition vibrant and collective.

Or visit Wat Doi Suthep, a golden dome pagoda situated on Doi Suthep Mountain that is considered the center of Northern Thailand’s religious identity. 

The locals visit Wat Doi Suthep during Songkran to worship, make merit, bathing of Buddha statues, and build sand dunes that are all believed to bring in good fortune and get rid of bad luck from the old year. Visit Doi Suthep on a half-day tour to witness this vibrant tradition.

 Celebrate songkran festival at Wat Doi Suthep

How to prepare for Songkran

No matter what region you visit on your Songkran holiday, there are a set of rules that apply to everyone and should be followed if you want to have a blast this Songkran Holiday.


Songkran water festival in thailand 


1. Some Rules To Keep in Mind

  • Be fully clothed in outfits you would not mind getting dirty. Government officials have addressed that inappropriate uniform is frowned upon and can lead to arrest for people of all genders.
  • Be open to the possibility that you can get sprayed and splashed on your outing.
  • Don’t shoot water at religious representations, splashing water on monks, elders, and pregnant women.


2. Tips for first-time attendees

  • Sunscreen will get you far in Thailand’s April sunny weather
  • People have reported getting ear and eye infections so consider wearing goggles or earplugs
  • Purchase small waterproof bags to keep your belongings and keep them close to you.
  • Bring out your Hawaiian shirt, it’s okay, we all have one.
  • And lastly, have a blast.


3. Traffic during Songkran

Main roads will be closed off for the festival and those are roads around tourist attractions and aforementioned water splashing spots. Surprisingly, traffic in Bangkok during Songkran is usually not too bad. It’s the one time a year, people travel back home to their families, that cancels out well with the closed-off roads.

If you want to get around, we highly recommend calling a Grab car or Bolt Taxi and trying to avoid tuks tuks and scooters if you want to make it to your destination dry.

All the public transport will be operating like usual and those are great options to get around to since it is illegal to splash water in the train system.


We hope you feel prepared to take on the Songkran Festival in Thailand. In the end, just bring your best party self, be respectful and you are guaranteed a blast with the locals. Got somewhere you'd like to visit in Thailand? Let us know and we'll be your travel companion for the holiday by sending us a message to WhatsApp (+66)95-5048282

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