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Useful snippets of information just for you.

SONGKRAN

Thailand's iconic New Year Celebrations that brings the country together with joyful traditions and colourful splashes of water.

Blog

Useful snippets of information just for you.

SONGKRAN

Thailand's iconic New Year Celebrations that brings the country together with joyful traditions and colourful splashes of water.

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.