It’s that time of year again, when all over Thailand, water is celebrated with the 2017 Songkran Festival as people take to the streets for water parties, visit temples to observe ancient rites and generally have a lot of boisterous fun.
Here’s a round-up of Thailand’s best 2017 Songkran Festivals.
- Songkran Splendours: Amazing Songkran 2017
- Date: 8 – 13 April, 2017
- Venue: Benjasiri Park, Bangkok
Kicking off in Bangkok on the 8th April, this event will be divided into Four Zones, each with demonstrations of culture and cuisine. Visitors will get the chance to take part in traditional activities, try food associated with Songkran and enjoy cultural performances.
The event starts with an Amazing Songkran Joyful Procession on 8 April 2017 which will head down Sukhumvit Road, starting from the Phrom Phong Junction and will finish at Pathum Wan Intersection. Finishing on 13 April, Songkran Splendours: Amazing Songkran 2017 will inspire people to travel upcountry and discover their own Songkran stories in different parts of the kingdom.
- Songkran in Bangkok Yai
- Date: 12 – 16 April, 2017
- Venue: Wat Arun and New Arun Amarin Road
There can be few more iconic places to celebrate Songkran than the famous Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn on the Chao Phraya River. Here, people can come and experience the most moving and ancient aspects of the festival by helping the bathe some of the city’s most sacred Buddha images. This way of making merit is believed to ensure good luck for the New Year.
- Bangkok Songkran Festival 2017
- Date: 13-15 April, 2017
- Venue: CentralWorld Shopping Complex, Bangkok
The Bangkok Songkran Festival is at its biggest and most fun at the large outside area in front of CentralWorld Shopping Complex. Here, as well as water play, there will be the chance to experience some of the more traditional aspects of Songkran in an alcohol-free, family-friendly atmosphere. Best of all, there will be a foam party which gives people a new way to enjoy the watery fun while cooling off at the hottest time of the year.
- Songkran – Pha Khao Ma Yok Siam
- Date: 13-15 April, 2017
- Venue: Siam Square, Bangkok
Siam Square will free up some of its popular shopping space to provide areas where the city’s young people can enjoy all the fun and joy of Songkran.
- S2O Songkran Music Festival 2017
- Date: 13-15 April, 2017
- Venue: Show DC Oasis Arena, Rama 9, Bangkok
The S2O Songkran Music Festival 2017, sponsored by PepsiCo, is set to be the wettest and most entertaining New Year event in town. A range of entertainment on offer, including sets by well-known DJs and to ensure everyone keeps their cool a 360-degree fountain that shoots water into the crowd.
- Chiang Mai Songkran Festival 2017
- Date: 12-17 April, 2017
- Venue: Chiang Mai old city
The best-known Songkran celebrations in the whole of Thailand take place in Chiang Mai. Here you’ll find a wonderful balance of water-based fun and sacred ceremonies that show the religious importance of this festival to the Lanna people. There is also a lot of tasty northern cuisine to enjoy.
- Salung Luang Songkran Festival in Lampang
- Date: 9 – 13 April, 2017
- Venue: Khelang Nakorn Park, Tha Kraw Noi Rd, Lampang
Experience the Lanna tradition of Songkran in Lampang. Enjoy a huge parade called the Salung Luang procession as well as the Miss Songkran Contest, floral horse-drawn carriages competitions, cultural shows and a many local performances.
- Thai Puan’s Elephant Ordination Tradition at Baan Had Siew
- Date: 7 April, 2017
- Venue: Wat Had Siew, Si Satchanalai district, Sukhothai
The “The Elephant Procession Ordination” is an ancient ceremony which makes the ordainment of monks from the Thai Puan tribe in Ban Had Siew, Sukhothai. It’s a tradition that all local men have to become monks for at least 7 days and every year, the ordinations take place on 7 and 8 of April. The men prepare in the traditional way, and are taken to the temples on elephants while wearing local headgear.
- Songkran and Sawan-khalok Food Festival
- Date: 11-15 April, 2017
- Venue: Sawan-khalok district, Sukhothai
The Sawan-khalok Songran and Food Festival takes place along the Yom River where there will be a floating stage adjacent to Wat Sawang Arom Worawihan where concerts and dancing will take place. The event of course is a huge draw for Thai food lovers who come to enjoy tasty northern dishes and see cooking demonstrations.
- Retro Songkran Splendours, Sukhothai 2017
- Date: 12-14 April, 2017
- Venue: Sukhothai historical park, Sukhothai
At Sukhothai Historical Park, visitors can enjoy a range of traditional activities and games to celebrate the Thai New Year. One of the most popular events is the sand pagoda building contest in which families compete to make stunning designs
- Flowery Shirt Songkran on Khao Tok Road, Sukhothai
- Date: 12-15, April 2017
- Venue: Sukhothai city and Sukhothai public park, Sukhothai
Visitors to Thailand during the New Year celebrations can hardly fail to notice how so many celebrants are clad in colourful Hawaiian-style shirts. These have become a firm Songkran tradition and in the weeks prior to April, shops are stacked high with these gaudy items.
Songkran in the Central Region
- Ayutthaya: Songkran at the Ancient Capital
- Date: 13-15 April 2017
- Venue: Ayutthaya Historical Park, Ayutthaya
Thailand’s former capital – Ayutthaya is another place worth visiting during the Songkran festival. The province is inviting both local and foreign tourists to celebrate Songkran in the most unusual exotic way – water splashing with the elephants in the very Thai environs of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya Historical Park.
- Songkran Phra Pradeang, Samut Prakan
- Date: 21-23 April, 2017
- Venue: Phra Pradaeng City Hall, Samut Prakan
One of the most fascinating ways to celebrate a Songkran near Bangkok is by visiting Phra Pradaeng, where the local people observe Mon ceremonies in a traditional way. This year, there will be a range of cultural activities taking place including a spectacular floral procession, a parade of the local Mon people in their colourful traditional outfits, a Miss Songkran parade and Mister and Miss Songkran Beauty Contest.
- Kanchanaburi: Wax Candle Procession Songkran
- Date: 13-14 April, 2017
- Venue: Wat Nongprue, Nongprue district, Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi has its own distinctive Songkran traditions, the highlight of which is the spectacular beeswax candle procession and other activities that accord with the Buddhists’ belief of the locals.
Songkran in the Northeastern Region
- Mukdahan: Mukdahan and 4 Indochinese Countries Songkran Festival
- Date: 13-15 April, 2017
- Venue: Mukdahan province
In the Mukdahan province, there will be celebrations and traditions from four countries in the Greater Sub-Mekong region: Thailand, Lao, Vietnam and China, are being combined in a cross-border party. The event highlights include spectacular light and sound presentations telling the stories of the ancient civilisations of the region. There will also be cultural performances from the four countries, a dancing fountain with music and water tunnels and foam parties to help cool off the revellers.
Songkran in the Southern Region
- Hat Yai Midnight Songkran 2017
- Date: 11 – 15 April, 2017
- Venue: Hat Yai city centre
In Thailand’s south, the Songkran fun takes place in Hat Yai, so head downtown if you want to join in. The main action takes place on the streets of Nipat Uthit 3, Sanehanusorn and Thammanoon Vithi.
- Songkran: The Water Festival on the Beach, Phuket
- Date: 11-13 April 2017
- Venue: Patong Beach, Kathu District, Phuket
Join the locals and tourists for “Songkran on the Beach” at Phuket’s famous Patong beach. There will be several merit-making activities such as Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual, the parade of Phra Budha Sihing image, cultural shows, and various competitions and fun-filled entertainments. In Phuket town there are flower parades, dancing and cultural shows, and the ever-popular Miss Songkran Contest.
- Songkran in Ko Samui, Suratthani
- Date: 12-13 April, 2017
- Venue: Chaweng Beach, Samui Island, SuratThani
Songkran is always fun-filled on the holiday island of Samui but the biggest party takes place on Chaweng beach where the main road becomes the focus of all the water play. There are usually DJs and stages with performers entertaining the crowds and foam parties and water help people to cool off.
Songkran in the Eastern Region
- Pattaya City and Chon Buri
- Date: 16-17 April, 2017
- Venue: Phra Puttha Sihing Hall in Chon Buri, Sri Chang Island, Bang Phra Beach, Sattahip District, Pattaya Beach – North, Central, and South, Lan Bodhi (Na Glue) Park and Sri Racha District Park.
Songkran is always a big event in the coastal city of Pattaya where people come from around the world to party. Songkran in the Chonburi region is sometimes known as Wan Lai and officially takes place on 19 April. But the street parties and water play tend to go on for several days and people come from all over the kingdom to join in.