Taking place from 13th – 15th April each year, Songkran is one of Thailand’s most famous festivals and an important event in the Buddhist calendar. The national holiday is an occasion for residents to enjoy time with their loved ones and for communities to come together to mark the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Many will also visit a Buddhist temple at this time to take part in various rituals thought to help cleanse the soul and provide good karma.
The annual event usually sees three days of vibrant celebrations taking place across the country, including parades, performances, pageants and parties, yet it’s the festival’s connections to water that are most well-known. During Songkran, the pouring of water symbolises the washing away of negativity, removal of sins from a person’s life and the giving of good luck for the year ahead. Historic practices that still take place today include bathing images of Buddha in scented water and sprinkling water on the hands of elders and monks as a sign of respect. However, more modern interpretations of the festival can now be seen on a much grander and exuberant scale. In homes, towns and cities across Thailand, epic water fights are held where locals and visitors alike are armed with hoses, buckets, water balloons and water pistols in order to suitably drench those around them. Much loved, the water fights act as a welcome reprieve from the April heat and are not to be missed if visiting over the holiday.
As with any big event, a scrumptious feast is also a key part of the festivities and popular Thai dishes traditionally enjoyed during this time include Tom Yum Goong made with shrimp and known for its unique blend of hot and sour flavours, Som Tam also known as green papaya salad and characterised by its combination of sour, hot, salty, savoury and sweet flavours, and for dessert Mango Sticky Rice made with sweet coconut milk. Fruit and vegetable carving is another activity synonymous with Songkran, with beautiful and elaborate edible creations displayed in homes and temples across the country.
Songkran at The Sarojin
Songkran is a holiday that we look forward to every spring and in previous years at The Sarojin we have celebrated by welcoming monks from the local Buddhist temple to the resort to give spiritual blessings, enjoying traditional entertainment from Thai musicians and dancers, building sand pagodas or “Phra Chedi Sai” with our guests, holding water fights around our resort’s beautiful pool and hosting gourmet BBQs in our lush tropical gardens.
However, in 2021 Songkran will look different for many across Thailand due to the ongoing restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, as water fights and large-scale events have been restricted nationally. However, at The Sarojin we will still mark the occasion by placing a Buddha image outside of our restaurant, The Edge, where guests can take part in traditional ‘Bathing the Buddha’ rituals and our local temples will be open to visitors who want to offer alms or learn more about the religious aspects of the festival.
To book a stay during Songkran or to find out more about our plans for the festivities this year, contact our reservations team on E: firstname.lastname@example.org or T: +66 76 427 900.