12 May Songkran
Songkran – Thai New Year
Celebrate New Year’s the Thai way
It is a special weekend in Thailand. The Thai name for it is Songkran. People also call it the water festival. Many tourists take part in the great festival; however what is it really all about? Read about the actual history as well as traditions and rituals during Songkran – the New Year’s Day in Thailand.
Where does it come from?
The roots of the Thai festival can be found in the Indian belief. Songkran means to pass or to move into and describes the movement of the sun into the zodiac of Aries. Therefore the date got fixed to the 13 to 15 April.
As with most holidays, Songkran is the best time to visit and pay respect to family members as well as friends, neighbors and of cause monks.
How do Thai People Celebrate Songkran?
The festival starts off with a temple visit early in the morning. Here, a Buddha image is symbolically cleaned by pouring a mixture of water and fragrance over it. By doing so, good luck and prosperity is foreseen for the upcoming year.
The water that was used to clean the Buddha image is kept and poured over the shoulder and back of elders. This again shows the respect towards the older generation and promises good fortune to them.
Another tradition is releasing fish and birds. It is a positive achievement to release a caught animal and again should bring good fortune to oneself.
At most temple in Thailand, Pagodas made out of sand are built. In this way, sand that was accidently carried away on ones soles are brought back to the temple. Plus it is fun way to spend time with family and friends at the temple.
…the splashing with water got highest priority. Since the festival is held at the end of the dry season, splashing with water is not just fun but also a great way to cool each other down. It heralds the rainy season that is just around the corner and begins in May, with is only two weeks after the Songkran days.
The people in Khao Lak celebrate songkran only for one day. But still it is loads of fun! Everyone is outside on the streets. The whole family takes part. It doesn’t matter if you have got a water pistol or just a bucket. It is all about having a good time. People are dressed in bright colors and they have colored powder in their faces. If you leave your house, you cant avoid to get wet – and you shouldnt. Usually their is a big Party at night at the Build Factory.
Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the places where the festival takes place the longest. Sometimes the celebrate it for more than a week. They have huge parades and they chose a beauty queen.
ARE YOU READY TO GET WET???
Thai New Year, from 13 – 15 April Khao Lak and the whole of Thailand will be soaked in water. No, not the raining season, it is the New Year’s Celebration called Songkran. Part of the celebration is splashing water at each other, which means that the entire nation goes crazy. Khao Lak is not an exception.Traditionally the water that was used to clean the Buddha symbolically is thrown at people to pay them respect. Nowadays, everyone is mostly enjoying the refreshing fun of throwing water at each other.
A few advices for the upcoming event:
- Anywhere outside of your room, there is a high chance to get wet, so be prepared for that
- Do not wear your best cloth during those days because you can be smeared with white powder
- Avoid to wear white shirts that get revealing when wet
- If you need to go on a motorcycle take even more care, people will still throw water at you and of cause, streets are wet
- Being on a pick up taxi does not protect you from being wet, they will find you everywhere
- Protect your belongings in plastic or waterproofed bags such as camera or mobile phone
- Keep in mind that Songkran is a public holiday and most local people are celebrating rather thanking these days
- Most important, enjoy the fun and do not be upset if someone empties a pre-chilled bucket of ice water over your head or comes from behind to smear white powder on your face. Keep smiling and enjoy it.