Songkran: the Thai New year

4 years ago

Every year in April the Thai New Year is being celebrated. In Thai culture, Songkran initially was celebrated by dousing water over the shoulders which is considered a blessing. Nowadays Songkran is famous for it’s celebration and is just one big water party.
Songkran Bangkok new year.png

Songkran is the traditional New Year’s day in Thailand.  In Thai culture, Songkran initially was celebrated by dousing water over the shoulders. It is considered a blessing and something many Thai will do to you. Nowadays Songkran is famous for it’s celebration and is just one big water party.

Everywhere you go you will see people wishing each other Happy New year and drenching each other with water, especially in the busier (and tourist) areas. You will also see people smearing each other with powder which is also part of the celebrations.

Those celebrations may seem like a funny way to celebrate New Year but it is a tradition that originally began in Thai temples.


More than just waterfights

During the Thai new year families visit their local temple to make merit and to their grandparents in order to receive blessings. They do this by sprinkling water over the Buddha statues. This water is then collected and people can sprinkle it over themselves as a New Year’s blessing.

At temples you might also see them building sand pagodas in the temple grounds. The powder during Songkran also has a religious meaning. When a monk blesses someone (or something) he marks that person or object with powder.


Songkran on our bicycle tours


Songkran at the Co van Kessel office

However Songkran being a national holiday we continue operating our tours as usual. Thai people will celebrate the New Year with their whole family. Bangkok will be a little more quiet as locals will return back to their families outside the city.

The locals who stay in Bangkok will however celebrate the Thai New Year as all others. In Thai culture They like to start the new year with a blessing from a foreigner so be prepared to get wet from some ‘holy water’.

Want to get blessed by a local for the Thai New year? Join our bike tours on on of these special days!

Tips on celebrating Songkran

Experience Our Bangkok Bicycle Tours

An alternative for those who want to explore the REAL Bangkok at a more relaxed pace. Our boat and walking tours are perfect for the photo enthusiast, non-cyclist and anyone with a curious mind.

Co Classical: 3 hour bike tour
The Co Classical 3 hour bicycle tour explores the backstreets of Chinatown and the charming local areas of Thonburi.

Co Combo: 5 hour bike/boat tour
Discover the highlights of the Co Classical, 3 hour bicycle tour.  In addition explore Bangkok’s hidden plantations, rural Bangkok by long-tail boat and enjoy a tasty Thai style meal.

Co All Day: 9 hour bike/boat/train tour
The must-do tour for the hardy adventurer or for those who just wish to extend their bicycle tour experience a bit more.  One of the highlights include travelling by train, longtail-boat and local transport.

Co by Night: 3 hour bike tour by night
Our bike tour in the cooler evening air through Chinatown and charming Thonburi.  The skyline of Bangkok by night is one of the highlights on this 3 hour bike ride.

Other Bangkok Tours

Co Rocket Boating: 5 hour multi-Boat Tour (James Bond Tour)
This 5-hour multi-boat tour introduced us to the locally known 'James Bond boat' due to its appearance in the 007 thriller 'The man with the golden gun'. Experience life along Northern Bangkok's rural canals where the thrill of the high-speed rocket-boat is just one of the highlights.

Co Canaling: 2 hour Longtail Boat Tour (Khlong Tour)
Ride a classic longtail boat during this 2-hour canal (klong) tour.  Explore the ancient waterways of Bangkok and see how locals live along her famous canals. 

Co Walking: 2 hour Walking Tour
This 2-hour walking tour takes you to the hidden alleys of Bangkok’s Chinatown by foot. Walking this area is more relaxing and intimate than cycling and perfect for photographers.

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