Koh Samui Culture Guides


Samui festivals: Songkran (Thai New Year)

Koh Samui Culture | Festivals of Samui Island

The best place to celebrate new years is nowhere but Samui island. This is because Samui island is a place which offers no less than three opportunities to ring in the new year. Locals of Samui island harbor in new year with their European friends on January 1st, with their Chinese friends on early February and on April 13th, they harbor in the first day of their traditional Thai solar calendar.

Songkran of Samui is celebrated on the first day of the Thai calendar

This celebration of the first day of the Thai solar calendar is called Songkran, which is a joyous occasion in Samui island. The word Songkran stems from the Sanskrit word 'New Year', which shows that major aspects of Indian culture was imported to Thailand over 2,500 years ago.

Songkran is a holiday for the family in Samui Island; this is why on this day, you find less of staff in restaurants and hotels as practically everyone vies to spend time with their families on this festival. On this day, all the houses in Samui Island are cleaned, sacred alters and images washed and huge meals prepared at home. It is on Songkran that family members scattered here and there come together to renew bonds and exchange gossip.

Visit Samui to experience the beauty of Songkran

The most interesting rite of Songkran is Wai Khon Gaa ceremony where people from all neighborhoods gather together to pour water on the two oldest members of the community and exchange blessings for the New Year. Another popular event of Songkran in Samui Island is the practice of Sat Nam where people gather large quantities of water that is chilled below freezing temperature to drench innocent passing pedestrians.

Teenagers of Samui love Songkran

On Songkran, teenagers across Samui Island arm themselves with dippers, barrels, buckets, water guns, hoses and delivery vehicles to launch their icy-cold liquid missiles. During Songkran, policemen in Samui Island are immune to any attack; however everyone else has to take this with good humor. Don't be surprised to be met with people wearing sopping clothes wherever you go in Samui Island during Songkran.

Last Updated: 05 Mar 2008