Songkran in Chiang Mai

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Best places to experience the water festival in Chiang Mai

สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์ suk san wan songkran!

Songkran is Thailand wet and wild New Years celebration and one of the best times to visit Chiang Mai. The festival falls on some of the hottest days in Thailand (beginning around April 13-15th) and people celebrate by throwing water on each other, using water guns, buckets, hoses and anything they can get their hands on.

The meaning behind Songkran?

Songkran, derived from the Sanskrit word saṅkrānti is the Thai New Year’s celebration. Songkran has traditionally been celebrated as the New Year for many centuries, and is believed to have been adapted from an Indian festival. Songkran is observed nationwide, the best  Songkran celebrations are still in Chiang Mai, where the festival continues for six days and even longer in Mae Wang. Songkran is not just about throwing water at people, traditionally it is also a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks. The water symbolizes cleansing and renewal. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this “blessed” water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder.

 

  • Traditional Songkran - Wat Phra Singh

Early morning at sunrise on the 13th, locals will offer alms to Buddhist monks, and Songkran will officially kick off.  Join the parade and pour water on Chiang Mai and Lanna’s prominent Buddha statue ‘PhraPutthaSihing’. Join the parade and bring sand and Salee (Bodhi tree) to the temple

 

Water festival

 

  • Songkran in the city

Ride the back of a truck around the moat or cruise Loy Kroh Road. Thapae Gate is Party Central and the streets are filled with revelers from

Around the world as well as local thais and everyone is armed with the biggest water gun they can get their hands on.

bamboo rafting

 

  • Songkran like a Local - Mae Wang

Mae Wang waterfall and Mae Wang river are amazing off the beaten path experience! With bamboo rafts, inner tubes, cheap fresh BBQ and an abundance of fresh cool water. Songkran on the countryside is a lovely escape from the madness in the old city. The sides of the river are lined with picnic huts made of bamboo and Thatch roofs. Local vendors sell beer, spicy som tam and grilled chicken. The Chai Lai is located on the Mae Wang river and we can book rafts or driver for you. 

Fun fun in the sun but it felt so good and WET. Everyone loved it, especially the kids. This is a fantastic place to enjoy it if you have a large group of friends. Go bamboo rafting, inner tubing, swimming or just picnic at the catered huts along side the river and enjoy the laughter with your fellow human beings.”- WhereToGoInThailand.com
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