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Songkran 2023: Thailand’s Grand Festival at a Crossroads, Reveals Nationwide Poll

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Imagine a poll, not your everyday survey, but a deep dive into the heartbeats and minds of Thailand; a nation poised on the brink of a 21-day extravaganza known to the world as the Songkran Festival. This isn’t just any survey; it’s a window into the soul of a festival that dances on the tightrope of tradition and modernity. The participants, whose numbers remain a whimsical mystery, had their say, and the results? A kaleidoscope of opinions that paints a picture of a celebration at a crossroads.

A curious 21.9% of these voiceboxes heralded the consensus that a 21-day water war is a modern-day myth of the Loch Ness variety—fascinating but not feasible. Hovering close by, 20.9% of the populace scratched their heads in bewilderment, confessing they hadn’t quite grasped this ambitious policy. Meanwhile, 16.4% wondered if perhaps the festivities had decided to overstay their welcome, suggesting that 21 days felt like a marathon in a sprinter’s guise.

When prodded about the government’s role in amping up the Songkran vibes this year, a third of the voices (33.7% to be precise) exclaimed, “Why tinker with perfection?” The Songkran Festival, they argued, already glitters on the global stage, no further sparkle needed. Yet, there was a segment (28.2%, to be exact) that felt the festive fervor had fizzled rather than sizzled, leaving them somewhat underwhelmed. On a brighter note, 22.8% clung to hope like a lifebuoy, optimistic that perhaps next year, the government’s inaugural year jitters would transform into a masterstroke of promotion.

When it came to the million-dollar question—should the 21-day Songkran be a scene to relive year after year?—a mosaic of responses emerged. A decisive 29.6% slammed the gavel down on the notion, scoring it a goose egg, while 23.2% sat on the fence with a score of 5, lost in a sea of indecision. Meanwhile, an enthusiastic 7.4% were ready to wave the banner for a repeat performance, bestowing upon it a perfect score of 10.

And who, you might ask, could potentially sprinkle star dust on this already dazzling festival? The people spoke, and they named their champions: Lisa from Blackpink at a staggering 71.1%, painting the town pink with K-pop finesse; Taylor Swift, with 39.8%, ready to shake it off; BTS, bringing the boy band charm at 19.9%; the footie maestro Harry Maguire, at a solid 8%, and PewDiePie, the YouTuber extraordinaire, capturing 5% of the dream invitee pie.

For those wanderlust-driven souls curious about where in Bangkok the Songkran magic happens, the locals whisper secrets of the top spots: Khao San Road, with 63.5% vouching for its unrivaled vibrancy; Silom Road, with 43.3% endorsing its festive frenzy; Iconsiam shopping mall, offering a modern twist with 32.5%; Sanam Luang, steeped in tradition with 27.6%; and the luxurious Siam Paragon shopping mall, securing 26.6% of recommendations.

Not to be outshone, the upcountry destinations beckon with open arms: Chiang Mai, leading the pack with 38.2%, offers a blend of tranquility and raucous fun; followed closely by Chonburi’s coastal charm at 35.7%; Khon Kaen and Samut Prakan, both securing 31.7%, offering unique Songkran perspectives; and Kanchanaburi, with 20.1%, promises an escapade into history amid water festivities.

Last but not least, our poll unveils the quintessential Songkran activities and items you won’t want to miss: the revered practice of sprinkling water on Buddha statues, capturing 68.6% of hearts; the tradition of “Rot Nam Dam Hua,” blessing elders with water, cherished by 64.5%; donning colourful shirts adorned with flower prints, a choice of 57.8%; the refreshing scent of Thai scented water or “Nam Ob Thai” at 50%; and the quintessential Thai-style water bowl, chosen by 36.6% as a must-have for the festivities.

There you have it, a poll that serves not just as a barometer for public opinion but as a vivid tapestry of a nation’s love affair with its most cherished festival. Whether you’re a staunch traditionalist, an unabashed celebrator, or simply in it for the fun, the Songkran Festival remains a vivid testament to the joy, unity, and spirit of Thailand.


  1. TraditionLover April 13, 2024

    Extending Songkran to 21 days is ridiculous! It dilutes the significance of our traditions under the guise of tourism and economic benefit.

    • ModernMax April 13, 2024

      Isn’t adaptation part of keeping traditions alive? The 21-day festival could introduce our culture to the world in new, exciting ways.

      • TraditionLover April 13, 2024

        Adaptation is one thing, but this feels more like commercialization at the cost of our cultural integrity.

      • Econ101 April 13, 2024

        But you can’t ignore the economic boon. More days mean more tourists and more income for local businesses.

    • SimpleSam April 13, 2024

      I miss the old days when Songkran was more about family and less about parties and celebrities.

  2. LisaFan123 April 13, 2024

    71.1% want Lisa at Songkran? Count me in! Her energy would light up the festival even more.

    • RockTradition April 13, 2024

      Why not invite local artists too? Thailand has so much talent that gets overshadowed by international stars.

  3. BangkokBenny April 13, 2024

    As a Bangkok local, Khao San Road is already too crowded. Imagine it during a 21-day Songkran. It’d be chaos!

    • TravelBug April 13, 2024

      That’s the point, isn’t it? The hustle and bustle are what make Songkran in Bangkok so unique and fun.

      • BangkokBenny April 13, 2024

        There’s a fine line between fun and safety concerns. A 21-day festival could cross that line.

  4. CultureVulture April 13, 2024

    Festivals like Songkran are the heart of Thai culture. We should be careful not to lose the essence in pursuit of commercial success.

  5. SkepticalSue April 13, 2024

    Does anyone else think these polls are silly? How can celebrities like PewDiePie be compared with the tradition of Songkran?

    • PopCulturePete April 13, 2024

      It’s just a reflection of the times. Pop culture and traditional events are blending everywhere.

    • Historian_Hank April 13, 2024

      Perhaps, but there’s a difference between blending and completely overshadowing. We risk forgetting the true meaning of Songkran.

  6. ChiangMaiChad April 13, 2024

    Proud to see Chiang Mai leading the upcountry destinations. Our celebrations marry the old and new perfectly!

  7. FiscalFrank April 13, 2024

    A 21-day festival might sound good on paper, but have we considered the logistical nightmare and environmental impact? More isn’t always better.

    • EcoEve April 13, 2024

      Totally agree! The waste from a long festival can be detrimental. We need sustainability in our celebrations.

      • FiscalFrank April 13, 2024

        Exactly my point. It’s not just about the economic angle but also about being environmentally responsible.

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