The Songkran celebration, also fondly known as ‘Thailand’s Water Festival’, is an annual celebration that marks the beginning of the Thai’s traditional New Year. This celebration falls on April 13 and will last 3 days until April 15 each year.
What Happens During Songkran?
The Songkran festival is all about cleansing, purification and having a fresh beginning to a new year. In fact, the name Songkran itself comes from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘approaching’. Hence, during the 3 days celebration, Thais will have their houses cleaned and organize processions with Buddha statues carried through the streets for people to wash it with scented water. Also, temples will showcase bathing rituals where devotees will pour water on senior Buddhist monks as a form of blessing to them.
Of course, what is Songkran without a huge water fight? Expect large-scale water fights on the streets of major cities in Thailand where people arm themselves with water guns and pails to splash water on anyone around them. Not only is this an amusing way to celebrate the New Year, but the water soaking signifies washing away bad thoughts and to bring about good luck and great blessings to the person being splashed. A fun way to bless someone indeed!
Where Is It Celebrated?
All throughout Thailand! But the massive water fights will usually happen in major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In rural areas, it is celebrated in a more traditional manner with activities that are focused more on the religious aspects of the festival.
Songkran is also celebrated in other parts of Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia, Burma and Laos.
Is Songkran Only For Thai People?
While originally a religious event for Thai people, Songkran has evolved into a fun-filled celebration that welcomes anyone with a penchant for fun and revelry. So, Songkran is for everyone! As long as they observe the basic etiquettes and common respect of the Thai people and their culture, travellers and foreigners are welcomed to join in the fun…
We hereby wish everyone Happy Songkran 2019! May you be blessed with good fortune all through the year. And… prepare to get soaked!!