Industry insights

What is the Water Festival? A Look Into the South Asian Festival

2 min read

By Ryan Tedder |  Published

While we love to promote the health and well-being benefits of water and drinking regularly, there is a part of the world where water is celebrated in amazing ways. The Water Festival takes place across Southeast Asia and is rooted in ancient traditions. But what is the Water Festival, its significance, and why is it different from country to country?

What is the Water Festival?

Water Festivals are diverse events that recognise the rich cultural heritage and the spirit of unity, celebration, and respect for water – and celebrate the Buddhist New Year. Uniting communities and spreading happiness and celebration across different countries across the neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, Water Festivals are all observed in unforgettable ways. So let's look at some of the most famous water festivals, where they happen, and what they’re called.

Thailand: Songkran – 13-15 April

One of the most famous Asian Water Festivals is the 3-day festival of Songkran in Thailand. Marking the beginning of the New Year, Songkran involves people splashing water on each other to symbolise purification, renewal, and washing away bad luck. What starts as a gentle ritual of pouring water over the hands of elders evolves into a vibrant, colourful, and dynamic nationwide water fight using super soakers and buckets of water, bringing people of all ages together with street parties.

India: Sangken – 14-16 April

Celebrated mainly in northeastern Arunachal Pradesh in India, Sangken is another vibrant Water Festival that marks the traditional New Year. Lasting for three days, the festivities involve pouring water on Buddha statues and one another, symbolising the washing away of sins and misfortunes and the showering of good wishes and positivity on each other. While it’s a time of joy and religious devotion, locals also share homemade sweets, food, and delicacies.

Myanmar: Thingyan – 13-16 April

The Water Festival in Myanmar is known as Thingyan, a nationwide event lasting four days with music, dance, and various cultural performances. Taking place for the Burmese New Year, Thingyan starts with offerings to shrines and images of Buddha before becoming a high-spirited celebration where people splash water on each other in any way they can! This ritual is believed to wash away the previous year's impurities and welcome the new year with a fresh start. 

Cambodia: Chaul Chnam Thmey – 14-16 April

Chaul Chnam Thmey, or Khmer New Year, is one of the most important festivals in Cambodia, and its water-related rituals are essential to the celebrations. The festival lasts for three days, and during this time, people engage in water-throwing activities to bless one another with good luck and prosperity and get some welcome relief from the heat. While temples are covered in colourful garlands, people also build sand mounds outside them to remember their ancestors and elders.

China: Poshuijie – 13-15 April

Poshuijie, also known as the Water Sprinkling Festival, is celebrated by the Dai people in Yunnan province, China. The festival coincides with the Dai New Year and is characterised by colourful parades and washing Buddha statues in clean water. The same water is then used to splash and cover each other, onlookers, and tourists in the act of wishing one another good luck, prosperity, and happiness. 

Create your own daily water festival with Thirsty Work

While we might not celebrate water in the same way as many Southeast Asian countries do, we still understand how important it is to keep us happy, healthy, and hydrated – and that’s definitely something to celebrate. So why not stay that way at home or work by drinking the pure, naturally filtered water from our bottled water coolers?

Coming directly from our underground source in Shropshire, we fill our water bottles with the purest natural spring water for the ultimate taste and refreshment. And once installed, each bottle delivers instant chilled, ambient, or sparkling drinking water for your own mini water festival.

To find out more about all our water coolers, call the team today on 01392 877 172. Or email or message us, and we’ll get you started on your 10-day free trial.