Songkran is the Thai New Year’s festival, and this year it will be celebrated on 13 April until 15 April. The word Songkran comes from Sanskrit word “samkranti”, literally means astrological passage, and could also means transformation or change. Songkran is celebrated by Thai people as well as Malaysian Siamese.
In some parts of Thailand, people will clean their houses when Songkran approaches. And during Songkran, Thai people will go back to their hometown to visit their elders. The first day of Songkran is also the National Elderly Day. Thai people will perform the Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual where young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and to ask for their blessings.
The second day of Songkran is the National Family Day. In the morning Thai people will visit local temples and offer food to Buddhist monks. They will also pour water on Buddha statues, the young and the elderly. This ritual symbolizes purification and washing away one’s sins and bad luck. Afterwards Thai people spend their time with their families, and also pay reverence to their ancestors.
One of well-known traditions of Songkran is the water festival that is celebrated by young Thai people. Major streets will be closed to traffic due to they will be used as arenas for water fights. During the festival, Thai people will splash water on each other. Parades will also be held, and in some places, there will be Miss Songkran contest where the contestant will wear traditional Thai dress.
If you are in Thailand during Songkran, make sure to join the water festival! If you are not in Thailand during Songkran, or if you do not celebrate it, you can still share the spirit by getting together with your friends and families, visit your elders, or forgive their past faults. Or simply by transforming yourself to be someone new, to be someone you wish you could be all this time, to be someone better. After all, Songkran means transformation or change!
How about you? Tell us your favorite Songkran activity, or share your most memorable Songkran celebration!