Having fun is a big part of Thai culture, and having fun amidst scorching heat is no exception. The hottest month of the year, April sees the entire country go bananas in friendly water fights and street parties that last nearly a week. During Songkran, most office buildings, banks as well as family-run shops and restaurants shut down completely, while big shopping malls usually remain open. Bangkok experiences a mass exodus, as at least half of its residents travel back to their home towns for family re-unions. In their place are tourists, who fly into Bangkok particularly to enjoy one of the most colourful and festive times of the year.
Note. Songkran in Thailand is officially observed between the 13th and 15th of April (three days national holiday), although in reality, celebrations often last the entire week!
Beauty Pageants & Food Fairs in Wisutkasat Area
A Miss Songkran Beauty contest is held in the Wisutkasat area, accompanied by merit-making, a parade and other fun activities. Food, as is always customary in Thailand, features high on the agenda too with many mouth-watering seasonal treats available in hotels, restaurants, and from food vendors on every street or soi. Look out for special Songkran menus at some hotels and restaurants. Also have a look at our restaurant section for some recommended venues.
Sacred celebrations are held at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace. Here on the first day of Songkran the Buddha image ‘Buddhasihing’ is brought out from the National Museum and escorted along the streets for people to sprinkle water on.
The image is then located there for three days, so people who missed the procession can pay their respects. Other merit-making customs in Bangkok include the building of sand stupas which are then decorated with colourful flags and flowers. These can be seen around key temples in the Rattanokosin area.