Ask anybody in the western world to describe New Year’s celebrations and you’ll get very similar answers. They take place on the last night of December and there’s usually parties, fireworks and a communal countdown, as phone lines become jammed by every tipsy person up and down the country deciding that midnight is the best time to ring their friends and family. Year in, year out. Ask anybody in Thailand, however, and the answers will be wildly different.
Thai New Year is celebrated between the 13th and 15th April with a festival known as Songkran. Its name derives from a word in ancient Sanskrit that means “astrological passage” and, aside from its different dates, the celebrations also look radically distinct to our own. Traditionally, people who have moved away to other towns and different parts of the world return home to see their elders. But other traditions range from region to region. For example, people in the south practice working and spending as little as possible while being compassionate and honest towards others. In the north, New Year is marked with gunfire or fire crackers, while in the central regions of Thailand, they dress in colourful clothing. But there’s one tradition that unites the whole country.
All across Thailand, major streets are closed off as thousands of people of all ages participate in the world’s largest organised water fight. Super-soakers are filled and drained, water bombs burst all around and even elephants take part, using their trunks to make a splash. It’s a great event for families travelling to Thailand with young children, as well as a fantastic opportunity to bring out the big kid in yourself.
If these April New Year’s celebrations sound like a great way for you to spend time this coming spring, we have two fabulous Anantara properties that will ensure your water fighting experience is a luxurious one. Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort resides on the banks of the Chao Pharya River, perfectly placed to enjoy the country’s biggest Songkran celebrations in its capital city. While in the north, Anantara Chiang Mai invites you to experience the gunfire and fire crackers before the sensational soaking that follows.
New Year’s celebrations take on many forms and dates in different countries around the world. For more information on how you can discover and take part in exciting events like this in other Destinations, get in touch with one of our luxury travel experts today.