Thai Songkran Festival Origin and Traditions

Thai songkran festival tradition of song nam pra

Thai Songkran Festival & Thai Food

If you’re a fan of Thai snacks and Thai culture, then you’ve probably heard of Thai Songkran Festival; สงกรานต์ (Songkran). Songkran is the Thai national holiday that is celebrated every year from 13th-15th April. This annual celebration marks the Thai New Year and is a time of joy, renewal, and reflection. It is a festival that is deeply rooted in Thai history and traditions, and one that is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the country. Songkran is the time for people to come together and celebrate the coming of the new year with Thai food, gifts, music, and water fights!


Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit word “sankranti,” which means “astrological passage.” The festival marks the passage of the sun from one zodiac sign to the next. The festival is a time of purification, with people cleaning their homes and temples, and of giving thanks and making merit. Big cleaning is a common activity during Songkran to welcome new things and a fresh start to the new year.


One of the most popular traditions during Songkran is the water fights. People of all ages take to the streets armed with buckets, water guns, and hoses, drenching each other in water to symbolize the washing away of bad luck and misfortune. This tradition is very popular in Bangkok, especially at Khao San road and Silom road, where thousands of people join the parade of water battles for several days. Along with water guns, people also bring along scented powder to decorate your opponents.

The water festival has evolved from the traditional activity of รดน้ำดำหัว “Rod Nam Dum Hua”, where people pay respect to elders and family members by pouring scented water over their hands and ask for blessings. Another important tradition is สรงน้ำพระ “Srong Nam Pra”, where people pour scented water over buddha statues as a mean to clean the statue, as well as making merit. These two traditions are usually done at home during family gathering, but Srong Nam Pra can also be seen at temples where people commonly visit during Songkran to make merit and wish for a good start. In contrary to the calm and gentle traditional activities, these two traditions combine to make the extravagant water festival that attracts people from around the world.

Thai songkran tradition at temple

“Song Nam Pra” tradition at Wat Pak Nam Temple on Songkran Day.

Aside from the water festival, there are several other traditions associated with Songkran. These include building sand stupas and releasing birds and fish as an act of merit. We recommend visiting a temple during Songkran for the true traditional Thai experience.

Thai Food

Another important aspect of Songkran is the food. Along with popular Thai menus, such as Thai curry and Thai street food. A traditional dish called ข้าวแช่ “Khao Chae”, a dish of rice in jasmine-scented water with various accompaniments like pickles, fried shrimp paste balls, and sweet pork, is commonly served during the festival. Fresh herbs and sour mango are added for interesting mix of flavors. This menu is a royal Thai cuisine that is commonly served during summer season only. The mixture of sweet and savory condiments, along with cool scented water, help to freshen up the body under very hot weather. The menu is gaining popularity with many Thai restaurants beginning to offer it. When you’re in Thailand next time, why not try “Khao Chae” at S&P restaurant? This chain restaurant is available throughout Thailand and offers delicious Thai food, including “Khao Chae” for a limited period in April.

Additionally, Thai snacks such as mango sticky rice, kanom krok (coconut milk pancakes), and grilled pork skewers are all-time favorite street food options during Songkran. Spicy salads, noodles and grilled skewers are also tasty, fast, and filling. These on-the-go nibbles that are available throughout the day at many Songkran locations.

Experience Songkran

For those who are unable to experience the Songkran Festival first-hand, we offer a convenient and unique way to get a taste of Thai culture and tradition. Our Thai snack subscription box is a great way to sample some of the delicious treats that are enjoyed during this festive time. From crispy spicy snacks to sweet scrumptious traditional desserts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And what better way to celebrate Songkran than by subscribing to Heap Brand Thai snack subscription box and enjoying the festival’s traditional snacks in the comfort of your own home?

In conclusion, Songkran is a time-honored tradition in Thailand that celebrates the coming of the new year with food, water fights, and festivities. The festival’s rich history and traditions are still celebrated today, making it an important part of Thai culture. And with the popularity of Thai snacks, celebrating Songkran has never been tastier!

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