Songkran is the Thai New Year water festival, which takes place from 13-15 April every year. It is a traditional celebration that welcomes the new year with a ritual cleansing through the water. Thailand is not the only country that has this water festival. There are other countries in Southeast Asia that have similar traditions such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR.
In Thailand, there are popular tourist destinations to experience Songkran and create unforgettable memories, both in traditional and modern style: Khao San Road (Songkran Bangkok), Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Chaweng beach (Koh Samui, Surat Thani), Patong beach (Phuket), and Pai.
In Lao PDR, Pi Mai lao or Lao New Year & Water Festival is celebrated between 14-16 April. Like The Songkran festival in Thailand, Lao People engage with water flights, pouring water on the hands of the elders and ask for a blessing, and temple worship. The famous locations to celebrate the festival in Lao such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane.
In Myanmar, Thingyan festival is celebrated between 13-16 April. They also have water throwing, water spraying, traditional ceremonies to wash away bad luck and welcome the new year. Almost every part of the country celebrates this festival. You can see it in the main cities like Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon. However, the biggest celebrations are in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw.
In Cambodia, their new year celebration is called Khmer new year which run from 14-16 April. But Khamer new year is different from the water festival in Cambodia or Bon omtok which is focused on traditional boat racing. Most Cambodians will take the week off work and head to their homeland to spend the holidays with family. The countryside comes to life as people flock home to celebrate. Other lively spots to mark new year include Siem Reap and Battambang, where official celebrations usually take place. These include parades, traditional games, water fights, entertainment, and other activities.
There are some similarities between the people in this region. These nations share identity and close cultural ties. Let decide which water festival you would like to attend; we hope you enjoy Songkran or new year festival 2023!