Songkran Thai New Year
Songkran, the Thai New Year is currently in full flow. Thai New Year is on the 13th April but the festivities continue to the 15th. Songkran is synonymous with water throwing or maybe better described as a huge water fight! I have heard that hotel guests walking a long the lobby have got soaked by hotel staff. Ok if you know what is going on but sure would be a shock if you were unaware!
These days with the internet and social media Songkran is widely known by people beyond Thailand. Lot’s of tourists coincide there holiday in Thailand to witness the splendour of the Songkran celebrations. My brother is actually there now as part of his friends Stag do! However, given that it is traditionally celebrated by paying respect to elders and visiting temples to sprinkle water over Buddha figures, Thai authorities are trying to clean up the image of it being a big party with lots of alcohol and indecent behaviour. However, you will see people form all walks of life joining in and no doubt that will include the police too!
Songkran in Thailand
People in this region clean their houses when Songkran approaches. Everyone dresses up in colorful clothing. After offering food to the monks, the people will offer a requiem to their ancestors. Donations are given to monks at temples. Other forms of merit include releasing birds and fish. Nowadays, people also release other kinds of animals such as buffaloes and cows.
Southerners have three Songkran rules: Work as little as possible and avoid spending money; not hurt other persons or animals: not tell lies.
In the northern region of Thailand 13 April is always celebrated with gunfire or firecrackers to repel bad luck. On the next day, people prepare food and useful things to offer to the monks at the temple. People have to go to temple to do merit and bathe Buddha’s statue and after that they pour water on the hands of revered elders and ask for their blessings.
The eastern region has activities similar to the other part of Thailand, but people in the east always make merit at the temple throughout each of day of the Songkran Festival. Some people, after making merit at the temple, prepare food to be given to the elderly members of their family.
Songkran is also celebrated in neighbouring countries and is is celebrated as Sangken in northeastern areas of India.
Songkran is also famous for a large animal to join in the party. This particular creature doesn’t have to hold a water pistol or use a bucket to soak you. They use their trunk! Here you can see elephants joining in the fun.
So if you have enjoyed what you have read and seen, then go and book your ticket and go and enjoy the festivities this time next year. If you want any further information then speak to one of us at Sabai .
Happy New Year