Residents of the Southeast Asian have to live under heat of the hard-working sun all around the year, therefore water becomes an essential part of their life. It might be a reasonable explanation for use of water for celebration, which is shared among three countries in the Southeast region. It is manifested in a culturally distinctive water festival. For Cambodians, their water festival is Chaul Chnam Thmey, while in Myanmar, it is Thingyan, and in Thailand, it goes under the name of Songkran.

Now, we will go on an educational cultural trip to the Southeast and learn about these three famous water festival.

Chaul Chnam

Cambodian’s New Year Eve is call Chaul Chnam. It usually falls around 13rd or 15th of April. As a way to celebrate and have fun, people will start a splashing-water party in such a large scale which would include every one. On the first day of new year eve, from early morning, people will bring flowers to pagodas. After that they will carry some Buddhism ceremony like worshiping, reading Biblical lectures, doing Buddha bathing ritual and sending their flowers to the top of sand stupas. When they have done with these, it’s time to jump into the real party with water.

Besides, during these time, apsara dance – a traditional dance of the Khmer will be performed everywhere. You will get many chance to enjoy and admire these mesmerizing dance.


Thingyan is celebrated during the time of the New Year Event according to Burmese’s calendar, which falls in the middle of April. It is also the hottest period time of the year. According to Burmese’s belief, the use of water could wash away all the evils and bad luck of the previous year and set them all clean up the up-coming year.

This festival also collides with the summer holiday, what a clever way to celebrate!

On the first day of Thingyan, people will do a Buddhism ceremony which includes fasting. However, the party and festival will start at night with dancing and music to celebrating. You have to wait until the next morning to join the throwing water fest. People will rush out to the road and use all water-spraying tool that you can ever imagine to throw water at each other.


Songkran in Thailand, just like other water festival of Myanmar or Cambodia, is meant to celebrate the New Year Eve, according to the same calendar. The water festival in Thailand is a big thing. People even call it water fight, where people use all of the energy and enthusiasm to splashing water at others. Some of the main roads might be block for vehicle to make a water battle field. During this water-throwing festival, you might see friendly elephants joining the party by joyfully spraying water from their trunk into the air. These elephant is decorated in colorful paint.


Tips for enjoying water festival

One important thing you should bear in mind is that you should put your electronic devices, mobile phone or camera, to a waterproof bag and keep your valuable assess at your hotel room.

Foreign travelers would be a favored target of the locals, therefore, when you step out to the streets, there is no way you can come back without being wet. Just enjoy it. Never mind it, because throwing water is an act of blessing and cleansing. And if you have an allergic to water or something, water festival is not your right time to travel.

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