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How Thais Celebrate New Year (Traditions and Celebrations)

How Thais Celebrate New Year (Traditions and Celebrations)

If you have ever wondered what Thais do when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, I have you covered! 

In Thailand, there is also a traditional festival called Songkran, or the Buddhist New Year, every April 13th. Thais celebrate this event for three days with street parties and water fights.

Thais also celebrate New Year with the rest of the world by throwing countdown parties on New Year’s Eve.

To know more about how Thais celebrate both New Years, keep on reading!

Thais observe the Songkran festival.

Thais observe the Songkran festival.
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The Songkran festival is celebrated from 13th to 15th of April every year. It’s a Buddhist festival that falls during the Thai New Year, and it also marks the beginning of summer in Thailand.

What people do on this holiday by throwing water at each other—usually with their hands or with buckets and water guns. 

Songkran is a Sanskrit word that means “passing” or “approaching.” 

Making merit for the New Year.

Making merit for the New Year.
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Merit making is an important part of the Thai New Year celebrations. In fact, it’s a tradition that goes back to ancient times and continues today among many Thai Buddhists.

Thai Buddhists believe that by contributing to the upkeep of the temple and the monks’ food, they gain virtue that will benefit them in the afterlife. 

On December 31, as the clock gets closer to midnight, candles are lit, monks chant, and people give prayers as they hope for luck in the coming year. 

Sai sin, a ceremonial white thread, is tied to a Buddha picture during New Year’s religious rites and then given to the congregation through the hands of monks. 

Then, symbolically passing the thread through everyone present, the monks’ chanting and the associated merit are transmitted.

Thai families gather.

Thai families gather.
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Family gatherings are an important part of New Year celebrations in Thailand. Families or friends usually meet at a temple or at home to pray, then go to family members’ houses and have a meal together. 

Moreover, Thai people are very religious, and they believe that their lives are determined by the actions of their ancestors in previous lifetimes. 

They want to honour those ancestors by living a good life and making sure their family is doing well.

Thailand also has always been a country that has celebrated New Year’s Eve with a big party, so it makes sense that families would want to be together on this day. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the future!

Thais visit temples.

Thais visit temples.
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Thais visit temples during New Year in Thailand because the temples are a place of spiritual guidance and peace. The Thai New Year celebration is a time to reflect on the past year, and make resolutions for the future. 

Many Thais also believe that visiting the temple during this time will bring good luck and prosperity to their lives.

People throw water on each other and at statues and shrines to cleanse themselves of sins and misfortunes.

Many temples hold festivals during New Year’s Eve so that visitors can experience Thai culture firsthand. 

 Thais love eating seafood during New Year.

Thais love eating seafood during New Year.
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Thais prefer to eat seafood on New Year’s Eve. Particularly in Bang Saen or Pattaya, all seafood restaurants are crowded with visitors and native Thais. 

Buffet restaurants in Bangkok are frequently busy due to the vast number of Thais that go there to eat with their families. 

They eat enormous prawns, shellfish, mussels, fish, and other fresh seafood at house parties, which some people even attend.

Thais do more travelling during New Year.

Thais do more travelling during New Year.
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Thai New Year is a national holiday for the entire country, and people are encouraged to spend time with their family. Many Thai people travel to see relatives or friends and spend time with them during this holiday.

Thai people love to travel during New Year because it’s a great opportunity to explore the country, experience new cultures, and New Year is when they have the most time off from work.

Lastly, many Thai people will travel during this time because they believe that their luck will improve if they visit their temples or go on pilgrimages during this time.

Countdown parties are all over the country.

Countdown parties are all over the country.
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Countdown parties in Thailand happen all over the country, and they’re a great way to bring your friends and family together in one place.

At these parties, you’ll find Thai people of all ages, who come together to celebrate the new year by eating, drinking, and having fun.

Some countdown parties are held at restaurants or bars where you can order food and drinks from the menu or bar. These places have a DJ or live band playing music as people dance around them.

Other countdown parties are held in private homes or public spaces such as parks where everyone is welcome! These events usually include food and drinks for sale as well as entertainment provided by local musicians or dancers.

And then there are the people who just don’t want to do anything at all! Instead, they stay in their room watching TV until midnight and then wake up before sunrise to watch the fireworks.

What are the best places to visit during New Year in Thailand?

Thailand is one of the perfect places to visit during the New Year. If you want to see a different side of this country and celebrate the new year in style, here are some ideas for your next trip:

1. Bangkok

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Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and a great place to visit during New Year. The city is known for its vibrant culture, so it’s no surprise that this night is celebrated with fireworks, street festivals, and lots of music.

You can also find hotels and unique restaurants in Bangkok if you want to stay there for New Year’s Eve.

Spending New Year’s Eve on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is among the most well-liked ways to celebrate.

In addition, celebrating the New Year in Bangkok from one of the numerous rooftop pubs or eateries is another well-liked tradition.

While having a party on a rooftop restaurant or bar, you can watch the fireworks displays being held in all directions.

Throughout the entire New Year’s Eve night, there are incredible DJ performances at the countdown event in Bangkok. In addition, one of Thailand’s major event companies is the one hosting the meta music festival.

2. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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Beautiful temples, amazing festivities, friendly locals, and a wealth of historical and cultural activities make Chiang Mai the ideal location to spend your New Year’s holiday and New Year’s Eve in Thailand.

In Chiang Mai, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a big bang! The city comes alive with fireworks, music and dance performances, as well as traditional Thai food stalls set up around town.

The whole city comes together to celebrate this special day. People meet up with friends and family members in groups or on their own, dressed in their best clothes to show off their style.

The celebrations will last until midnight when people gather together for countdown before ringing in the new year with cheers and fireworks!

Additionally, at Chiang Mai, thousands of people assemble in one area to let the lanterns go into the black sky. 

A vast crowd of people are holding colourful paper lanterns with candles on the eve of the new year. The greatest place in Chiang Mai to enjoy New Year’s Eve is near the Ping River.

3. Phuket

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In Phuket, New Year celebrations are marked by a lot of fun activities and events. There are parades with floats filled with dancers and performers, as well as lots of music from marching bands in town centres across the island. 

Many people also get together for a big party at home or at one of the many hotels or resorts around town.

Perhaps there is no better time to visit Phuket than around New Year’s Eve due to the combination of nightclubs and many, exotic locales.

There’s also plenty to do here—from hiking up hills or mountains to exploring temples and other historical sites, experiencing spas at resorts or getting lost in the maze of streets in the old town.

4. Pattaya

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In Pattaya, there are many exciting activities to celebrate New Year’s Eve. You can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display on the beach at Walking Street or dance until the early hours at one of the many clubs in the city. 

There will also be street parties and free shows with music and entertainment all over the city.

On New Year’s Eve, there are a ton of live music events and spectacular fireworks displays.

5. Krabi

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Krabi is located in the south of Thailand and is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and waterfalls. 

The province is also home to several islands, which are great places to visit during New Year if you’re looking for a change of scenery. 

In Krabi, people usually celebrate New Year’s Eve by going to the beach or watching fireworks. People also go out to eat at restaurants with their friends and families on New Year’s Eve.

The people gather together and celebrate the arrival of new year by bursting firecrackers, singing songs and dancing. 

At midnight, there is an amazing fireworks display which lasts for about half an hour or so at different locations all over town including beaches like Ao Nang Beach.

New Year Decorations in Thai Style

New Year Decorations in Thai Style
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Thai New Year is based on the Buddhist calendar, so there are not a lot of Christmas trees, but you can still add some fun decorations to your home to celebrate this special holiday. 

The celebrations start with decorating houses with lanterns, flowers and traditional Thai decorations like small figurines of elephants who represent good luck. Plus, the house should be cleaned from top to bottom before the new year arrives.

The lanterns are easy to hang up, and they come in all sorts of colours and shapes, so they’ll fit into any decorating scheme.

How to say Happy New Year  in Thai?

Happy New Year greetings can be expressed in a number of ways.

First, a hearty “Sawasdee pee mai,” or happy new year.

Second, Happy New Year, also known as “Suk San Wan Pee Mai”  (literally happy day of the new year)

Third, the countdown goes as follows: 5,4,3,2,1 is haa (5), sii (4), sam (3), and song (2) nueng (1)

Thus, the following will happen: haa, sii, sam, song, neung… Sawasdee pee ma!

Lastly, say Kho ha mee kwam suk to send many good vibes.

FAQs about New Year in Thailand

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