Last month, the government of Thailand, gave the green light to a proposal to add an extra day to the 2019 Songkran Festival holidays. The addition of April 12th means the holiday will begin a day early and run through for five days until Tuesday 16th April.
Explaining the decision to afford all state employees the extra day, government spokesperson Colonel Apisit Chainawat said the holiday would compensate workers for the following day. The thirteenth is a Saturday and would have been a day off anyway. The colonel added a footnote that it was up to commercial businesses, including banks, whether they allowed their staff the 12th off.
The Songkran Festival is Thailand biggest cultural celebration and usually a three-day national holiday, from the 13th to the 15th April. Extra days are often added if it falls on the weekend. The government approved a five-day holiday last year.
Songkran marks the old New Year in the heritage Lanna regions of northern Thailand as well as neighbouring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. In Thailand, the tradition of sprinkling water on Buddha images and the hands of elderly people has evolved into the country’s celebrated water fights.
Chiang Mai was the old capital of the Lanna Kingdom. The Old City moat here is the epicentre of the modern water fights while the city itself is the best place to take in all of the other heritage rites associated with Songkran. Chiang Mai Songkran 2019 awaits, but accommodation can be hard to find. So, be sure to book in advance via our preferred partners, Agoda and Booking.com.