Songkran Quick Facts

AKA NamePi Mai Lao
HashtagsCompiled on#ICONSIAMSongkranxBECKY
Related Hashtags#Beckysangels, #ENGFAxMajorSongkranFestival
2024 DateApril 13, 2024
2025 DateApril 13, 2025

Songkran (Lao/Thai New Year)

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Songkran (Lao/Thai New Year) History

Lao New Year celebrates the end of the dry season and the start of the monsoon season. Known as Pii Mai, it is a time for rebirth and purification. It spans three days. During this time, people pray at temples, hold ceremonies, and host parties. Another common tradition is to spray people with water.

Lao New Year stems from a Lao legend surrounding Thao Kabinlaphrom. Having lost a bet and his life, his daughters were left to care for his severed head, taking great care as to not let it touch the ground as the world would have faced great destruction otherwise. This story is reenacted during Lao New Year which is celebrated annually on April 13th.

Facts about Lao New Year's Day

  • It's the hottest month in Thailand. During the new year celebrations, people have fun splashing water on each other. This signifies cleansing oneself of misfortunes from the past year.
  • According to legend, the mythical king Thao Kabinlaphrom lost a bet that cost him his life. He was beheaded, and it is said that if his head had landed on the ground, it would have destroyed the Earth. His daughters grabbed the head and took it to Mount Sumeru, where they take turns, lasting until Pii Mai (New Year's Day) of the next year, to take care of it. This legend is reenacted during the celebrations.
  • The first day is called Sangkhan Luang (last day of the old year). People clean their houses and build and decorate mounds of sand in preparation for the new year.
  • The second day is the day between the old year and the new year and is called Sangkhan Nao. No one is allowed to work on this day as it is a day of rest and leisure.
  • The third day is the start of the new year, called Sangkhan Kheun Pii May. People make offerings in the temple and the young visit the elder to ask for forgiveness and blessings.

Top things to do for Lao New Year's Day

  • Have a water fight with friends.
  • Visit a waterpark or go to the beach.
  • Watch the 2013 movie The Rocket. It tells the story of a young boy from Laos who is believed to bring bad luck and his journey to prove he doesn't.

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