Celebrate Songkran the Lanna way with 14 cultural events across the city

 | Mon 27 Mar 2023 20:20 ICT

The Chiang Mai Municipality has announced fourteen activities which it is organising and promoting across the city in an effort to introduce visitors to some of the more traditional activities and customs of our Lanna culture.

While water throwing and general revelry will be occurring across the nation, as pre-Covid normal, the municipality hopes that visitors to Chiang Mai will take some time out of the Songkran fun and festivities to explore these events:

Phaya Mengrai and Buddha image bathing ritual

12th-16th April 2023 from 9am-8pm at Three Kings Monument 

A parade will be held, carrying relics in worship of Phaya Mengrai, or King Mengrai the Great. There will be mong sheng and sabad chai drumming demonstrations and competition, a banana leaf offerings making contest, makbeng demonstration with folk plays, a sand pagoda making competition as well as a kad mua Northern-style food and crafts market.

Sand pagoda competition

12th April 2023 from 7am-9pm at Tha Pae Gate 

This tradition of making sand pagodas during the Songkran New Year dates back centuries. The sand is built to give to temples as an offering for all of the grains of sands trekked out of temples under our feet over the past year. These impermanent saint pagodas are elaborately decorated. 

 Buddha Sihingh and Buddha images invitation ritual

13th April 2023 at San Pa Koi Intersection parade to Wat Phra Singh 

The procession will leave Viharn Lai Kham at Wat Phra Singh and travel to the Three Kings Monument for preparations. In the afternoon there will be procession to carry the images to various temples in Chiang Mai so that the people can bless it with sacred water. This is the Buddha Sihing’s annual journey outside the temple. 

 Ladies on bicycles competition

13th April 2023 from 9.30am-noon at Tha Pae Gate

This long-standing tradition sees genuine Northern Thai ladies ride bicycles while carrying umbrellas to Tha Pae Gate to showcase a more nostalgic time in Chiang Mai. 

Songkran merit making

13th April 2023 from 6am-8am at Tha Pae Gate

Make merit and join in an enduring Thai custom of waking up at dawn and offering food to monks and novices as they make their rounds across the city. 

 727 years of fine arts and crafts

13th-15th April 2023 from 8am-10pm at Three Kings Monument

A plethora of Lanna arts, crafts, shows, activities and music, including the Lanna Music Orchestra, will be performing in celebration of the 727th anniversary of Chiang Mai city. 

Across the city, in multiple locations, you will find the people of Chiang Mai celebrating the new year with unique and charming cultural activities. Find out more at