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Useful snippets of information just for you.

Articles : SONGKRAN | LOY KRATHONG

Blog

Useful snippets of information just for you.

Articles : 
SONGKRAN ARTICLE

LOY KRATHONG ARTICLE

Songkran

A yearly occasion, Songkran festivities starts from the 13th to the 15th of April. However, some cities will begin there celebrations a couple of days earlier or hold events after the given dates.

Its name derived from a Sanskrit word that means to pass or to move into. When used in this context, the word implies the passing or moving of the sun and other planets into another zodiacal orbit. The Songkran Festival falls into Aries, representing the Thai New Year. Originating from an Indian Festival of Makar Sankriti, which recognizes the suns celestial path and the welcoming of the best season thus passing from the old year to the new.

Being influenced by India, the Songkran Festival was entwined from typical Thai's that had agricultural up-bringing's. Festivities would allow Thai's to have a break from work, show their respects to their ancestors and elders, along with joining delightful local entertainment that re-unites relationships with friends, families, and nature. Ancient tradition would involve visiting local monasteries to provide food and gifts for monks. Prayers and blessings of scented water would be poured over the monks during the holy cleansing process and the locals would take the holy water back home to share with their loved ones. Then they would rub and pour the holy water over each other as a blessing for the coming year.

Similar to today, Songkran Festivals during the Sukhothai Period was practiced in both the royal court palace and among ordinary people. Civil servants and government officials would show respects to the King by drinking the oath of allegiance, while the King would provide salaries to members of the government. It was not until the Ayutthaya period where pouring water over Buddha statues were introduced along with festivities such as sand pagodas and entertaining. Although not as elaborate as today, many traditions remain the same.

Today, Most Thai's will be off work and involved in various events and parades making this a must see occasion and a good reason to travel.

Here are some notes for you to keep in mind whilst making your plans to join the celebrations.

WHERE

Photo credit: ol'pete via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Where there's family and friends there are bound to be celebrations. You are likely to be splashed with water in almost every town or witness a more traditional side in temples across the country. Silom & Khao San Roads or RCA are popular places for party goers in Bangkok.

HOW

Photo credit: shin--k via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Get kitted with a water gun or bucket, smile, be gentle, and enjoy :) Make sure that clean tap water is used and that you avoid spraying into faces or cyclists and motorbikes. Dress appropriately as alcohol-fueled revelers may get touchy. And don't forget the plastic bag to keep your money and phone dry!

TRADITION

In the mornings locals will visit temples for food offerings to monks and perform the iconic ritual of pouring water on to Buddhists statues. This signifies purification and washing away of one's sins and bad luck. Then respect is shown to their elders by gently pouring water over their palms.

Loy Krathong

Another of Thailand’s colourful festivals, which truly depicts the beauty of historic traditions within a modernizing culture.

An annual Buddhist celebration that takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar. Due to this dates vary between each year but usually occurs in November.

In 2015 the celebrations took place on November the 25th, in 2016, Loy Kratong was held on the 14th of November.
Loy Kratong in 2017 will be held on the 3rd of November .

As dates vary throughout the years we recommend that you make sure that your travel plans coincide with the Thai lunar calendar, or you can contact us at info@silqbkk.com for more information.

Although not a public holiday in Thailand, celebrations will be held throughout the country, with full involvements from the communities.

The word “Loy” means float, and a “Krathong” in this context is a small floating vessel usually made from trunks of banana trees and are ornately decorated with delicately folded banana leaves of different shapes and flowers. More extravagant Krathong’s can reach up to 5 levels or more and are more than 50 cm in diameter. They are then topped off with incense sticks and candles, which have a religious significance.

It was believed that Loy Krathong was derived from an ancient Bahmanic or Indic festival, which was a ceremony where people paid respects to three different gods, Phra I-Suan (Shiva), Phra Narai (Vishnu) and Phra Phrom (Brahma). During these times, people would show respects by making lanterns from paper and candles. Not until 150 years ago at the urging of King Mongkut (Rama IV), where it was adopted as a Bhuddist Ceremony.

Today, along with prayers and wishes for good luck, the candles lit on the Kratong’s represents bad luck which is drifted away down the river. Along with symbolising the letting go of anger, bitter feelings to a fresh start. It is also an opportunity for Thai’s to honor the goddess of water, Phra Mae Kong Ka. Kong Ka is the Thai form of Ganga, the Hindu Goddess of the sacred Ganges River.

WHERE

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People will congregate in locations with large ponds or along the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Sukhothai is the place where the first krathong was set afloat with beautiful celebrations to mark this occasion. More traditional events such as pageants, parades, krathong making competitions and markets are held through the week in Chiang Mai.

HOW

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You can make your own Krathong with Flowers, Candles & Incense sticks, a slice of Banana tree trunk & leaves or you can buy one on the street side vendor near the river/ pond. Light the incense sticks and candle and float the Krathong while making prayers. Please float only Krathongs that made are from natural materials & don't fall in!

TRADITION

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Along with Loy Krathong festivals and fireworks there are also beauty pageants called "Ms Noppamas Contest". Legends say that Noppamas was queen to the Sukhotai King in the 14th century, who she was the first to float a Krathong.