Cultural Affairs Department, New Taipei City Government
Songkran is a New Year’s tradition in Southeast Asia. Held between April 13 and 16, it is the most important traditional holiday among the Thai-speaking community and Southeast Asia, where people splash water on one another to symbolize the cleansing of all negativities in the past year and embracing the arrival of a brand new year. People who are splashed the most also receive the most blessing and therefore more happiness.
New Taipei City boasts the largest new immigrant population in Taiwan, with Nanshijiao region in Zhonghe featuring the largest Burmese population in the nation, hence Huaxin Street has gradually evolved into a unique hub of Southeast Asian gourmet cuisine and shopping districts. In order to alleviate the homesickness of Burmese and Thai expatriates, as well as to allow the people of Taiwan understand more exotic cultures, since 1998 the New Taipei City Government began hosting the annual New Taipei City Songkran Festival in mid- April. Through events such as “Songkran theme activities”, “cultural and art performance groups”, “Southeast Asian cuisine”, “Buddha cleansing and blessing ceremony” and “diverse cultural experience”, the public will be immersed in the exotic Burmese and Thai New Year’s ambiance to appreciate the most Southeast Asian-like Songkran Festival.