A fusion of the traditional and the modern at Sanam Luang Songkran celebrations


A massive Songkran festival will take place for five days at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, highlighting a seamless fusion of Thai traditional and modern activities, catering to people of all generations.

The “Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024” is being held until April 15, a result of collaboration between the government and private agencies.

“This event aims to celebrate Songkran’s inclusion in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage [in December last year],” Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said. She expects the five days of events to generate 20 billion baht for the country.

A parade of floats from sponsors, provinces and private companies will proceed down Rajadamnern Klang Road to Sanam Luang on April 11-12. Those vehicles will then be showcased at Sanam Luang until April 15.

The highlights are a procession of Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn, a Buddha image from Wat Traimit in Bangkok, and Thai-Danish beauty queen Anntonia Porsild who acts as “Goddess Mahodhara” at this year’s Songkran.

Following the vehicles are exhibitions of "Home Sweet Home", a survival-horror video game by Thai developer Yggdrazil Group, and an LGBTQ+ Pride parade.

An array of traditional performances and activities from five regions across Thailand have been put together for visitors to fully indulge themselves in this important festival for Thai people. These include Khon dance and a Muay Thai demonstration, as well as sales of Thai foods and local products.

On April 13, there will be an alms offering to 99 monks, as well as an activity to pour water on monks and the elderly for prosperity.

Younger generations can take part in electronic dance music and concerts from renowned Thai artists, such as Danupha “Milli” Khanatheerakul and 4EVE. A light show by 1,200 drones will light up the skies after sunset.

Facilities, such as large pools, a big fountain, water tunnels and tanks, have been arranged for partygoers who yearn to splash water.

A fusion of the traditional and the modern at Sanam Luang Songkran celebrations “Each checkpoint has its highlights, so we would like to ask visitors to participate in the event. The venue is quite spacious and they can easily walk with families and friends,” Sudawan said.

She said that police and relevant officials had been deployed to ensure the security and safety of visitors. She advised people to take care of their health and avoid the risk of heatstroke.

“The event is a collaboration between the Tourism Authority of Thailand [TAT], the Tourism and Sports, Interior, and Culture ministries, and the Prime Minister’s Office. The event at Sanam Luang could become a new destination for Songkran celebrations in the next few years,” said TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool.

She added that the huge event was in line with the sports minister’s policy to promote Songkran globally.

Public transport in the form of "Songthaews" are available at Major Cineplex Pinklao shopping mall, Phan Fa Lilat bridge, and Museum Siam to facilitate travel to the venue.