Chiang Mai’s municipal authority recently released a full timetable of events for the 2019 Songkran Festival. A schedule posted on the Chiang Mai mayor’s Facebook webpage gives details of all the happenings in three languages: English, Thai and Chinese.
The rites began at the beginning of April with traditional Buddha image bathing rituals at the Old City’s Chiang Man Temple. Phra Singh Temple, Jetlin Temple and the Three Kings’ Monument are key locations to take in additional time-honoured ceremonies over the next few days. The official opening ceremonies for Pee Mai Songkran Festival 2019 will be staged on the plaza in front of Thapae Gate and will begin at 06:00 on the 13 April with the donation of alms to monks.
Once the opening ceremonies are finished, various parades, and cultural performances are scheduled for venues within walking range of Thapae Gate. These will be held every day until the 16th of April and will take place against a backdrop of the Songkran water fights around the Old City moat ring-roads.
Over the last few decades, the cultural events and water fights of Songkran have proved to be a major draw-card and generally attract a multitude of Thai and international tourists to Chiang Mai. Songkran Festival is one of the few times in the year when accommodation is really hard to find. To avoid having to settle for second best, we recommend making advance online reservations with Agoda or Booking.com.