Thai govt announces largest ever Songkran festival

Photo courtesy of iStock

The Thai government recently sent waves of panic through Thai expats with an announcement that this year’s Songkran, the Thai New Year, would be the largest ever, celebrated from April 1 to April 21. The terror stemmed from the misconception that this would mean 21 days of water-throwing, a popular but divisive feature of Songkran, which is also known as the water festival.

For those unfamiliar with Songkran, it’s not just about water fights. The festival is the most significant holiday in Thailand, with cultural and religious activities taking centre stage. It’s a time when many Thais, particularly those working in Bangkok, travel back to their home provinces to spend time with family. However, in tourist hotspots, the festival is renowned for its wild water fights, concerts, and parties.

The water-throwing aspect of Songkran was cancelled in 2020, 2021, and 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with only religious functions permitted. This change was well-received by those who aren’t fond of the water play. However, the water fights returned last year, much to the delight of younger tourists and social media influencers.

This year, the water play is not just returning, but being actively promoted, as it attracts many tourists. However, for those living and working in areas like Pattaya, where the water-throwing can last up to a week, the festival can be a challenging time.

Related news

The extension of Songkran to 21 days is not a new concept. Different regions in Thailand have celebrated the festival on different days for various reasons for decades. Pattaya’s significant day, for instance, falls on April 19, to boost domestic tourism after the official national days. The national days remain from April 13 to April 15, with public holidays extending to April 16, reported The Pattaya News.

21-day celebration

The concept behind the 21-day celebration is not about non-stop water fights. It’s more akin to Christmas, where the decorations, music, and cultural presentations span the entire month. The same idea applies to the Songkran festival, with events proposed across Thailand from April 1 to April 21, focusing primarily on religious, cultural, and traditional heritage aspects.

Yes, there will still be water play, but it will be limited to the official days and not the whole 21-day period, clarified a Thai official. So, fear not, this doesn’t mean 21 days of water-throwing across Thailand.

Despite the clarifications, many expats will likely choose to stay indoors or even leave Thailand during the festival, while a surge of domestic and foreign tourists will arrive to partake in the festivities.

Thailand News


Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

Related Articles