Songkran is an important fixture on the Buddhist calendar when friends and family gather for food and festivities all over Thailand. In this blog post, we look at the meaning of Songkran, how it is celebrated and some of the dishes to eat during the festival.

Songkhan Thailand Buddhist New Year

What is Songkran and how is it celebrated?

Songkran is an annual three-day festival which welcomes in the Thai new year. The official holiday runs from 13 to 15 April each year. Taking its name from the word for “passing” in Sanskrit (the language used in Buddhism), Songkran is a celebration of transformation and change.

On this special occasion, young and old across Thailand participate in the tradition of splashing water on family members, close friends and neighbours. Thai people also visit temples during the festival to pour water on statues of Buddha and on the hands of Buddhist monks. This represents purification and the washing away of sin and bad luck.

As a festival of unity, many Thai people use this festival as an opportunity to return to their hometown to spend time with their families. Paying reverence to ancestors is another important part of Songkran tradition.

Thai dishes to try during Songkran 2019

If you are unable to celebrate Songkran in Thailand this year, why not mark the occasion here in the UK with a feast of Thai cuisine? Here are some dishes which are definitely worth trying out at home:

Songkhan Festival Celebrations Thailand
  • Massaman gai is a rich, yet mild yellow chicken curry from the southern region of Thailand. It is the perfect dish for your Songkran celebrations.
  • Pad kra pao gai is a spicy chicken and basil stir-fry, which is served with white rice and topped with a runny fried egg oozing its yellow yumminess throughout the dish.
  • Kai yang literally means grilled chicken, which is typically marinated in a combination of fish sauce, garlic, turmericcoriander root and white pepper. The dish is typically served with sticky rice and green papaya salad.
  • Khao soi is a heart-warming dish with boiled egg noodles in a rich and creamy coconut curry base, topped with crispy egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime and ground chillies fried in oil.
  • Gaeng keow wan, better known as Thai green curry, is made from such flavoursome ingredients as fresh green chillies, ginger, aubergine and lots of coconut milk.
  • Mango sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert, made from sweetened coconut milk and sticky rice with fresh mango slices placed on top.

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