The festival in Thailand kicks off on April 13 and usually lasts three days, though festivities can start early or end later in some cities. The holiday’s main focus is about moving forward—in fact, the word Songkran comes from a phrase in the Sanskrit language that means “passage of the sun.”
Many families wake up early during Songkran and visit Buddhist temples, where they bring offerings such as food and listen to monks as they preach. Visitors sprinkle clean or scented water over the statues of Buddha. Younger people also pour water on the hands of elderly relatives and friends to show their respect and ask for blessings in the coming year.
Honoring family traditions and religious practices are important parts of Songkran, but so is having some fun. Outside, Songkran is celebrated with street parties featuring loud music and a giant friendly water fight. People collect water in buckets, squirt guns, and anything else they can find, then hit the streets to playfully splash each other. It’s a good thing April is one of the hottest months of the year in Thailand!