Vancouver, BC
Chiang Rai ,Thailand

Chiang Rai Festival

Chiangrai Songkran Festival is undoubtedly the most festive and celebrated event of the year in Thailand. Songkran marks the Thai New Year (Thai Lunar Calendar year) and is the biggest and most fun-filled time of the year.

Songkran (Song Kran) is an important holiday for Thai people, the large majority of whom are practicing Buddhists. It is a time to reunite with their families, make merits in temples, visit and show their respect to older folks and perhaps above all, it is a time to get soaked up and cooled down in the Songkran ‘Water Fight’ that takes place on just about every street in this country during this hottest month of the year.

Since Thai people celebrate the Thai New Year so vigorously, this Songkran event can be extended into a weekend and is easily the longest holiday in Thailand. This extended period often signals a return to home provinces, time for family get-togethers, serious merit making, and massive water splashing.

Although the Water Festival is supposed to start in early April, Thai people are very zealous about this festival, so much that they may begin throwing water a few days before the official date. This is particularly true in Chiang Rai and other northern areas; so do not get frustrated if a Thai person approaches you with a bucket of water ready to soak you up – this is all part of the fun so enjoy it!

Traditionally on the first day of the Songkran festival, Thai people will go as a family to their temple in the early morning. Typically people will be well dressed and equipped with their family’s specialty dishes to offer to monks. After the service at the temple is through, Thai people will spend time with their family and extended family – this can be very much like a yearly family reunion. In some areas, Thai people will go to a certain pagoda with scented water to spray and bath on the pagoda and Buddha images for good lucks and merits