Thai Celebrations & Traditions

New Years celebrations are different all over the world. In Thailand, the New Year is called ‘Songkran’ and has been celebrated in mid-April since ancient times.

The Thai people take part in different activities to say “goodbye” to the previous year and welcome the new one. As part of the religious celebrations, people visit temples to pour water over the Buddha statues. This is believed to bring good luck.

The country’s largest celebration takes place in Chiang Mai. Here, the religious ceremonies continue with a parade of Buddha statues through the city streets. During the parade, community members splash water on the statues.

This Buddha-bathing quickly became the world’s largest water fight. Hundreds of people take to the streets! They carry water guns, hoses, and buckets of water. I decided to join the local party-goers. It wasn’t long before I was soaked from head to toe.

Sky lanterns are another way the Thai people wish for good luck. Sky lanterns are sometime called ‘wish lanterns’. They started in China over 2,000 years. It is believed that sky lanterns were once used as a type of military flare or signal.

Centuries ago, Chinese communities began to migrate to Thailand. These communities brought customs like sky lanterns with them. Now, they are part of the Thai culture. Today, Thai people launch these lanterns into the sky. They make a wish like we might do with candles on our birthday cake.

What are some important celebrations in your culture?