The Songkran festivities and celebrations will take place in Chiang Mai from the 12-15 April 2022
What is Songkran?
Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Year. Traditionally in the past water was thrown over your friends and neighbours as a sign of respect and cleansing, however since then the water throwing has taken on a whole new dimension and is now the dominant new year activity and past time for locals and visitors alike. Songkran always falls on the same dates in the month of April which sees some of the hottest temperatures of the year, the Songkran celebrations are an explosion of celebrations and relief against the build up of this heat, most government offices and businesses close for the Thai new year with many people travelling to their home cities to spend the holiday period with family and friends. In Chiang Mai the water throwing fun and festivities are some of the biggest and longest-running in the whole of Thailand. This is partly aided by the cities plentiful and easy accessible (if not the cleanest) water supply from the old city moat which runs around the old city. The road circling the old city becomes the center of the water throwing action with a large proportion of the water throwers going mobile on a slow moving procession of motorcycles and overloaded pick ups and tuk tuks. The hotspots for the water throwing action and Songkran partying are at Thapae Gate and outside the front of Kad Suan Kaew where stages are set up many sponsored by businesses and corporations, but you are likely to get wet wherever you are in the city!
A few other pointers and notes for the Songkran festivities in Chiang Mai
If you do not want to partake in the festivities or get wet stay inside, those few people who are dry are always the prime target for the water throwers, you will get wet! As you are likely to get wet then carry telephones, ipads and the like in waterproof plastic bags. You will find a plentiful supply of purpose made bags for sale in most of the water throwing areas.
On the afternoons of the 13th and 14th there are processions of dancers and buddha staues which will proceed down Thapae Road towards Thapae Gate and onwards into the old city to Wat Phra Sing
If you are visiting Chiang Mai for Songkran then book accommodation early as many of the cities hotels, hostels and guest houses do fill up. It also may be a good idea to book onwards transport out of Chiang Mai if you are planning to leave promptly after the celebrations, many tourists depart Chiang Mai in the few days after Songkran and combined with the local Thais who will be making travelling back to their places of work after the holiday transport is often fully booked.
To really get a good feel about what the modern Songkran celebrations are about then check out some of the excellent videos posted on Youtube here is a good one!