What is the Songkran Festival?

What is the Songkran Festival?

Songkran is a Thai traditional New Year which starts on April 13th-15th  every year.  Songkran means “movement” or “changing”. It is also called the “Water Festival”.  Water is believed to flow and wash away all sins during this time.


In the Thai tradition, the New Year begins early in the morning when faithful Thai Buddhists go to the temple to offering food to monks.  After that, they release caged animals, especially birds and fish.  Children and grandchildren will visit and respect their elders and parents.  The young pour scented water over their elder’s hands, they in return, wish them good health, happiness, and prosperity.  This tradition of paying respect is called “Rod Nam Dam Hua”.  April 14 is called “Family Day”.

Rod Nam Dam Hua is pouring water on the hands of elders and asks for a blessing. We express our respect to our elders by pouring scented water onto our parents’ and grandparents’ hands. After that, they will bless us.

In the afternoon, Thai Buddhists sprinkle scented water on Buddha images.  After that, they sprinkle perfumed water on or throw clean, cold water over each other.  Songkran is observed with excitement in the North, especially in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

A lot of people from around the country will head up north to participate in the festivals organized there.  A Miss Songkran will be held and a long and beautiful parade will be organized.

Anyone who goes out on the street is likely to get a thorough soaking. People believe that water will wash away bad luck, and splashing water over friends or anyone will give them a New Year blessing.

Songkran is one of Thailand’s National Holidays. During this time, people from rural areas, who work in a city like Bangkok, return home to celebrate the festival. It is a great opportunity for family members to gather together. It’s such a precious time.

Happy Songkran festival


Suk San Wan Songkran

Common useful words and phrases

Rót nám dam hǔa (รดน้ำดำหัว) – pour water on the hands of revered elders and ask for a blessing

Nám -ob Thai (น้ำอบไทย) -Thai traditional perfume- Nam-ob Thai

Sǒng nám phrá (สรงน้ำพระ) – Sprinkle water onto a Buddha image

Wát (วัด) – Temple

Puun chiid nám (ปืนฉีดน้ำ) – water gun

Thǎng nám (ถังน้ำ) – Bucket

Khǎn nám (ขันน้ำ) – Bowl

Pâeng (แป้ง) – powder

Pàpâeng (ปะแป้ง) – Put powder on face

Yàa (อย่า) – Don’t

Sàad nám (สาดน้ำ) – Splash water

Nám -khǎeng (น้ำแข็ง) – Ice

Yàa chái nám -khǎeng (อย่าใช้น้ำแข็ง) – Don’t use ice.

Sùk sǎn wan Songkran (สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์) Happy Songkran Festival

Songkraan níi pai lên nám thîi-nǎi?  (สงกรานต์นี้ไปเล่นน้ำที่ไหน) Where are you going for Songkran?

Pai lên nám Songkraan dûay kan, mǎi? (ไปเล่นน้ำสงกรานต์ด้วยกันไหม) Do you want to come with me to celebrate Songkran?

#Songkran #Festival #WaterFestival