Songkran (Lao/Tai New Year)

Quick Facts

AKA NamePi Mai Lao
Hashtags#LaoNewYear, #PiMai
2020 DateApril 13, 2020
2021 DateApril 13, 2021
Songkran (Lao/Tai New Year)

Songkran (Lao/Tai New Year) History

The Lao New Year (Pii May) is a time for rebirth and purification. It marks the end of the dry season and the start of the monsoon season. The festivities last for three days.

Songkran (Lao/Tai New Year) Facts

  • 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 years' 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.

Songkran (Lao/Tai New Year) Top Events and Things to Do

  • 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.

Lao New Year's Day References and Related Sites

History of Lao New Year

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