Festivals

Songkran Festival

Songkran is the Thai New Year, celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of April. The word Songkran comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, which means transformation or change. Traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends and monks, people also cleanse Buddha images by the gentle pouring of fragrant water. Famously a time for exuberant water splashing, the Tha Phae Gate entrance into the old city is especially wild and wet.

During Songkran in Chiang Mai, the main Songkran parade takes place on Charoenmuang Road, near the Narawat bridge. Buddha statues are taken through the Tha Phae Gate and on to Wat Phra Singh, with crowds lining the street giving merit and wishing for good luck into the new year by splashing them with water.

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Festival

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Festival both take place on the full moon day of November.  Loy Krathong is celebrated nationwide when thousands of lotus shaped baskets with candles and flowers are floated out on the rivers at night. Yi Peng is celebrated only in Northern Thailand, with Chiang Mai being the best location, and sees swarms of lighted lanterns floating up into the night sky.

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