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Songkran - Thai New Year: Traditions and photo shooting!

Date of publication: 07 Apr 2021 | Updated: 31 May 2024

Did you know? Songkran festival is one of Thailand's most awaited and highly celebrated festivals! It is that time of the year when both locals and tourists immerse into the Thai mode of traditional festivities. So, About what is this festival? Keep reading!

Songkran - Thai New Year: Traditions and photo shooting!. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 2189
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov
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Songkran Festival in All its Glory

The Songkran Festival, also known as the "Water Festival," occurs at the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Guess what? The word 'Songkran' has a Sanskrit origin, meaning "passing" or "approaching."

Songkran is more than a festival to the Thai people. It is their reality, their celebration of a new year, and a fun way to initiate new beginnings. You would be delighted to know that Songkran is a favorite tourist destination, too. Every year, tourists, and locals alike are mesmerized by the festivities of Songkran and carry away a box full of memories worth a lifetime.

Trust me, if you are present in Thailand during the Songkran festival, there is no way you will not be entertained through a water fight. So, are you ready to experience the Thai way of water festival? You will be hooked!

All About Songkran Celebrations

Songkran is all about Thai traditions, so, yes, you guessed it right! It is inaugurated at the Buddhist temple of Wat Pho, which cherishes a splendid gold-plated Buddha. Imagine this! It is a city full of celebrations, splendid colors, water guns, a buzz of people, and pure joy! Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is even more fun to be a part of it!

Some of the highlights of this festival include throwing water on one another, the ritualistic bathing of images of Buddha, parades, and some exciting performances. And of course, how can any festival be complete without the traditional food? So, if you have a knack for traditional Thai food, perhaps Songkran will be your ultimate favorite time of the year to visit Thailand.

Songkran is a family holiday

Songkran - Thai New Year: Traditions and photo shooting!. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1843
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

These days Thailand has official holidays, so many people decided to travel to their home cities. That's why Songkran is a family time, when all relatives and friends get together, revive personal relations, visit the elders, and pay homage at their temples. Love, laughter, joy, and happiness are key features of the Songkran festival that you surely would not want to miss out on.

It's all about celebrating with water!

The truth is, you will get wet as you step out on the streets during the soaring days of Songkran. So, let yourself enjoy this once-in-a-year opportunity. But if you do not like getting wet or prevent water fights, refrain from stepping outside during Songkran. Believe me or not, you will end up becoming a part of the water festival!

Songkran and Covid-19

Yes! Sure. Songkran and Covid-19 are polar opposites for fun. Songkran was postponed in 2020 due to a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases. However, Songkran is reviving this year with full safety measures and rules to follow. So, do not despair!

Extra holiday during Songkran!

Surprise! On account of a postponed Songkran festival in 2020, this year, the Thai government Cabinet added an extra day of celebration to the festival! Gear up to relish an extra day of fun and enjoyment. However, do not forget to wear your masks and try to engage in a social distant water festival. Let me take you through a guide of all the equipment you will need for this celebration.

Songkran - Thai New Year: Traditions and photo shooting!. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1841
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

Everything You Will Need at the Songkran!

This festival is all about water, festivity, and lots of fun. But can one do all the fun without the right equipment? Definitely not! So, it would be best if you have a water gun to savor the Songkran festivity at its best. Water guns are easily available throughout Thailand, especially near the Songkran festival time. So, you have nothing to worry about!

Spare outfits will help.

And of course, the water fight is fun, but never without some spare clothes to slip in later. Keep your bags packed with some extra clothes to enjoy without worrying.

Protect your gadgets

Well, waterproof gadget cases are your ultimate rescue during the Songkran festivity. The truth is, you might end up getting soaking wet in Thailand's streets even if you are not actively participating in the water fight. So, better to be safe than sorry, right?

Water never enough!

Do not forget to keep an extra bottle of water. Thailand is brimming with heat during the Songkran festival, and while a water fight comes in handy, you can never be hydrated enough to enjoy your fullest.

Songkran Protocols

Songkran is all about fun and tradition, but certain things must be mindful of.

  • Prevent throwing water on the monks.
  • Leave your valuable items at home. You are there to have fun, and you cannot enjoy it completely if you have valuable things to take care of.
  • Prevent throwing water on cars and motorbikes because that could cause accidents. Throughout the years of the Songkran festival, numerous cases of such incidents came up. But if everyone follows Songkran festivals, these incidents can be prevented.
  • And especially, in the time of Coronavirus, everyone must wear masks and try to indulge in a water fight from a safe distance.

The best places for Songkran festival

1. Bangkok

Silom and Khao San Road are two of Bangkok's most buzzing streets where the festivities light up everyone's faces. Look out for the fire trucks with powerful water hoses. Are you excited about this one? I promise you it is everything that one can dream of. If you want to celebrate Songkran like ever before, visit Bangkok!

2. Chang Mai

Songkran at the Thapae Gate in Chang Mai is an unparalleled experience. At Thapae gate, you not only get to relish a water fight but also get to witness some exciting performances and people dressed up in traditional Thai clothes.

Additionally, Songkran at Nimmanhaemin Road gives you a taste of Chang Mai's finest with some of the most entertaining DJ performances and some beautiful boutique hotels.

3. Koh Samui

This island entertains the Songkran festival in the most fun possible way: brimming with lights, water, and laughter. This place holds the essence of Songkran completely. Unlike other islands, Koh Samui's Songkran festivities might not be the busiest, but it surely guarantees a time worth revisiting.

4. Phuket

Bangla road drives you crazy with the water fun. Packed with people and heavy with water, Phuket and Songkran is a timeless combination that is hard to resist. If you go to the roads of Phuket during Songkran, be sure to carry waterproof items only. Because this is not just a festival, it is that time of the year when people come together as families, as friends, and most of just as human beings.

Why Visit exactly Samui?

Believe me or not, Koh Samui is just the perfect spot for your travels to Thailand. This location not only gives you the chance to enjoy Songkran but also other benefits. Who does not want to enjoy the beaches of Thailand once in Samui? I know you do. So, if you are a beach person, Samui is an instant favorite of beach lovers.

The quiet places full of coconut trees and peacefully calming ambiance have everyone loving it. But do not worry! Samui ensures a complete trip with its top-notch shopping malls, restaurants, and airports.

And if you want to visit an exciting destination with your friends, do not look further and visit Samui. Experience the fun of visiting peaceful beaches and swim your hearts out in the stunning waterfalls of Samui. The clean and fresh air of Samui will make you Ga-Ga over it. Imagine this! You can drive around on motorbikes with friends and relish the picturesque sceneries of Samui.

Songkran - Thai New Year: Traditions and photo shooting!. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1844
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

Top Things to do in Samui!

There are lots to do in Samui. But if there is one thing that you cannot go back without, it is taking amazing pictures of the beautiful beaches of Samui. Are you emotional about cool pictures to show your friends and family back home? Fellas, the wait is over!

Friend Portraits to hold on to

Whether you visit Koh Samui during the Songkran festival or otherwise, avail of my services to capture your beautiful relations with friends and family alike. Trust me, and I capture memories you want to hold onto forever.

Get Songkran-themed friend photos that you could frame back at home. The tangible memories you could carry in your laptop, in your wallet, or even on your bedside. Yes, you got it right! My friend portraits are worth carrying throughout the world!

Family Pictures, Never enough!

And of course, if you happen to visit Samui with your family, do not forget to get family portraits that your kids would come back to as they grow up. Family pictures are never enough, right?

So, whether you want candid shots with your loved ones or themed photography sessions at Koh Samui and its beautiful beaches, you can get it all. Gear up to relive your Koh Samui experience through our lovely family close-ups, wide-shot pictures, and portrait pictures.

Express your love through a couple shoot

I love encompassing reality as memorable photos. And there is nothing more beautiful than a couple shoot that captures the essence of your relationship. Do not forget to book your slots before you visit the stunning land of Koh Samui. Surprise your other half with a stunning couple shoot. No kidding, this is a fool-proof surprise to strengthen your relationship with your partner even further! So, what are you waiting for?

After all, a visit to Samui during Songkran is incomplete without pictures to look back to. Isn't it?

photo: Dimas Frolov
About the Author

Portrait photographer based on Samui, Thailand.
Originally from Ukraine, he has over 15 years of photography experience taking pictures around Europe and Asia. Multi-Award winner and author of many articles about photography.
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