Water festivals – exploring the cultural beauty in four Indochina countries

Every country in the world has a traditional New Year’s Day with their customs and unique rituals. In mid-April calendar, people follow Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asian countries are eager in water festival that’s in line with their Buddhist calendar. These festivals deprived from rice agriculture beliefs and religious characteristics and are easily to be seen in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. Taking place at the same time period and carrying the same meaning but water festival in each country was called differently due to the varied in language and traditional customs. Tours Indochina

Bunpimay, Laos

Traditionally, Laos New Year took place during the fifth month Buddhist calendar, starting from the sixth day of the fifth month and ends on the fifth day of the sixth month, in which the major holidays Wun Salong was held on the occasion full moon. Currently, Laos New Year was held from April 13th to April 16th of each calendar year, when the sky high bar, large rivers have abundant water symbolizes a new year many buds.


Bunpimay Festival, Laos
Bunpimay Festival, Laos – source: kienthuc.net.vn

There are many concepts to explain the origin splashing festival but can understand the birth of the festivities associated with agricultural life paddy planting, simultaneously, it also stems from the bold color legend giao. Phong respect of Laotians continue falling water is also linked to a dark legend humanistic spirit. Humanities makes beauty myth, along with the continuous splashing timeless forever.

Chol Chnam, Cambodia

Chol Chnam water festival in Cambodia’s Thmay also takes place at the same time with Laos, from April 13th to 15th. The most particularly charming Apsara dances, traditional food and Khmer traditional flavor mixed with alcohol scented jaggery.



Like Laos, Cambodia also custom building sandy mountains. They fill sand into 8 or 4 small mountains in the direction and one huge mountain in the center, symbolizing the universe to demand on good weather, happiness for everyone.

Songkran, Thailand

Also with rituals express homage to the Buddha, bearing the cultural traditions but Songkran water festival Thailand New Year’s extremely fun with the contest, the exciting events happening in succession 3 days, attracting millions of visitors.


Everyone was excited in Songkran Festival, Thailand
Everyone was excited in Songkran Festival, Thailand

Songkran Festival activities also take place at the beautiful waterfalls. The girls participated in his jacket carnival costumes peacock, phoenix and the folk dance unique. On this occasion, everyone was excited, hanging decorations, the jubilant home electric light, crowded streets, bustling.

Thingyan, Myanmar

Thingyan festival is a purely secular and is not mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures but Myanmar people celebrate Thingyan in integration with Buddhist rituals so although ‘dissipated’ in the water festival but they also do not forget to organize the festival in mind not dignified.


Interesting scene in Thingyan festival, Myanmar
Interesting scene in Thingyan festival, Myanmar – source: pinterest.com

Although young people play in the street carnival but also not forget the religious merit compensation. In that spirit, people of Myanmar are very happy to welcome the New year in the spirit of Buddhism.

We can say water festival holiday in Indochina is a mirror that was an evidence to reflect of cultural activities and the mercy of people. All activities are directed at the Festival of doing good to calm the mind and give the luck, is an opportunity for more integrated believers grant mercy for himself, family, relatives by doing charity to the temple.

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