Thailand’s New Year celebration, Songkran, occurs every 13 to 15 April. The festival originated centuries ago as a renewal and purification rite, in both a physical and spiritual sense: houses were tidied and Buddha images cleaned all towards clearing away negative influences. Traditional Songkran celebrations endure and include a gentle sprinkling of scented water by the young on elders in exchange for a blessing.
Today’s festivities go well beyond the holiday’s gentler origins, however, and involve getting doused from buckets and drenched from hoses and water guns. Be prepared to get wet. Also prepare to be daubed with talcum powder, another traditional blessing that’s evolved into something far more exuberant.
Among popular spots for Songkran fun in Bangkok, closest to Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom is Silom Road, a long stretch of which will be closed to vehicle traffic and for three days become one huge splashing party. If you take part in the fun, please do so with consideration by using clean water, not using powerful water guns and dressing appropriately.