Of all the festivals in Thailand the Songkran Festival is definitely the rowdiest. Astrologically it is a celebration of the vernal equinox, and from the 13th to the 15th of April the entire nation goes into party mode and everyone joins in.
This water festival welcomes the new year, and the tradition of throwing water symbolizes the washing away of the bad from the previous year. However in recent decades this water dousing has escalated to new heights, and tourists and locals alike can expect to be soaked by everyone they encounter – whether it’s a splash from a bucket, a blast from a hose, or a squirt from a high-pressure water gun.
There is also a serious side to Songkran, as families gather together and the faithful bathe Buddha images and ask for blessings, but the fun side is hard to ignore. In Bangkok head to Khao San Rd or the city’s Silom Rd district for the craziest water fights, and in Chiang Mai expect the festivities to begin a day early and go on a day or two later.