If there was a better time to explore the uniqueness of Amazing Thailand, the Thai New Year, known as the Songkran Festival from April 13 to 16 is an event where an all-out water battle and ancient traditions somehow blend in an annual celebration. The country is coming to a business standstill, turning into a national party.
It’s unlike anything else in the world. And it’s wet. Venturing out onto Thailand’s streets on April 13 is an open invitation to have a bucket of water thrown at you or a loaded water super-soaker aimed in your direction. You WILL get wet.
For tourists, the event offers a huge water party breaking out in the streets of Thailand’s towns and villages. For locals, it is a time when they can spend moments with their families and visit temples to make merit – and then get involved in the water fights as well.
This Songkran 2019 the Tourism Authority of Thailand has organized celebrations in three tourist destinations – Tak, Mukdahan and Ranong – and is supporting activities in eight other provinces (Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Ayutthaya, Phuket and Songkhla).
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Songkran is the Thai New Year’s national holiday. Songkran is 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. In 2018 the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationwide to five days, 12–16 April, to enable citizens to travel home for the holiday. In 2019, the holiday will be observed 12–16 April as 13 April falls on a Saturday. The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti ,literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change. The term was borrowed from Makar Sankranti, the name of a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in India in January to mark the arrival of spring. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart and with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia, in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.