Songkran, a term derived from Sanskrit sankranti, literally means ‘astrological passage’ as it is the time of year when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign of the Zodiac. For centuries, this period has been celebrated as the New Year for many Southeast Asian nations, including Thailand.
This wonderfully colourful, happy and ‘wet’ holiday is recognised traditionally on the 13th – 15th of April in Thailand, though the dates can vary and are even extended in some parts of the kingdom. As Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year, at the end of the dry season, this wet, wonderful and joyous time is welcomed by all. While it may appear as all fun and games to the uneducated, it is indeed a time of deep rooted culture offering all the opportunity to enjoy the spirit of youth, make merit to the gods and pay respect to one’s elders.
While Songkran is celebrated throughout the country, it is most famous in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where it continues for a minimum of six days and nights. This extended holiday makes sala lanna Chiang Mai the ultimate location of which to base your wet, wild and culturally profound festivities.