Truly, there are different ways people celebrate New Year. While western countries use fireworks for the celebration, Chinese nationals have their dragon dance. However, Thailand has the most unusual way of celebrating New Year, and this is known as Songkran Festival. If this is the first time you heard about this, then you may want to know more. Who knows? You might also be interested in joining them.
What is Songkran Festival?
If we would take a look at the history, Songkran actually originated from Burma. In fact, there are also other countries practicing such festivity like Vietnam and Laos. The word Songkran was actually derived from “Sankranti”, which means “to move or to change”. Celebrated on particular dates in 13 April – 15 April, Songkran 2014 is regarded as the longest holiday in Thailand. Unlike other festivals in the place, Songkran is said to be the grandest since it is traditionally celebrated for three consecutive days.
Similar to other nationalities, Thais also have beliefs which truly originated from their forefathers. A day before the celebration of Songkran, the housewives must clean their house and remove all the rubbish. Otherwise, it might bring them bad luck for the remaining months of the recent year. As part of the belief, Buddha images should be washed carefully so as to bring good fortune to house owners.
Rather than an earthly enjoyment, Songkran 2014 focuses on spiritual intentions like giving alms to monks and paying a visit to Buddhist temples in their place. In addition to that, they build sand pyramid images and festoon colorful stuff such as flowers and flag lets.
But before we forget, the festival would not be complete without the so-called Water fight. Armed with water guns and water containers, travelers and natives including children throw water upon others, which symbolizes cleansing and rejuvenating of their bodies. There is no exception in this festival but obviously everyone understands the real meaning of this event
There are also places in Bangkok where side events took place. While other folks are busy cleansing and throwing water to the passersby, there is a pageant where women from the particular area showcase beauty and talents. But just like how April Fools’ Day is being celebrated, there are also women who play pranks on men while passing the streets.
In the past, there is no particular date as it was originally set through astrological calculation. But now, there is already a fixed date for the celebration, Just in case the dates fall on a weekend, they will still follow the date but some of the missed days will be taken from weekdays. However, just to make sure, everyone can join the event, the three consecutive days are declared as non-working holidays. Songkran 2014 falls on April 13, 2014 to April 15, 2014.
In conclusion, Songkran festival is a mix of tradition and fun. On the other hand, this even is also about showcasing Thai’s finest dishes. After the tiring 3-day celebration, natives in their genuine kindness diligently serve the guests and travelers with their very affordable cocktails and spicy goodies.