The original Thai New Year starts on April 13th and finishes on April 15th. Called Songkran it was the official New Year until 1888, when it was switched to a fixed date of 1 April. Then in 1940, this date was shifted to 1 January in line with western countries. Following this the traditional Thai New Year Songkran was transformed into a national holiday. A much loved festival in the Thai calendar, many Thai people, using any excuse for a party, even extend the celebrations to six whole days in the northern city of Chiang Mai.
The Thai New Year, like the Chinese New Year, is assigned an animal and this year is also the year of the Ox for the Thai people.
Each year the festival’s figurehead, the holy child Lady Songkran is assigned different symbols and colours for the procession, depending on what day the festival falls on. This year the festival falls on a Tuesday, signified by the colour pink and lotus flowers, in her right hand she will hold a trident and in her left hand a bow.
The most common sight around Thai New Year is water fights, and during this time you will see people roaming the streets with buckets and water pistols, soaking everyone in sight - April is the hottest month in Thailand, after all!