Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun, because after all, it’s Songkran!
Songkran is a Thai New Year that falls on the 13th of April, but the holiday period can extend if 13th falls on a weekend.
Songkran has many meanings and origins. They said that the word Songkran was derived from Sanskrit that means astrological passage, which also means transformation or change. The term was borrowed from the Hindu harvest festival in India that marks the arrival of Spring.
Some said it means shift or movement. It was derived from the movement of the sun from one position to another in the zodiac. People say that Songkran should be done every month but Thai people preferred to celebrate it in April when the sun moves from Pisces to Aries sealing the period Maha Songkran (Great Songkran) because it coincides with the arrival of a New Year. The Songkran Festival is, therefore, a celebration of the New Year in accordance with the solar calendar.
But to Buddhist people, the true meaning of Songkran is a day of cleansing and renewal, physically and spiritually. Hence, some people need to go back home and give respect to the elders, ask blessings from their family, and visit temples to pray. While these are still being followed, there are other traditions being practiced in the country: throwing of water, drawing faces with white chalk, and gifts of food. The throwing of water is a symbol of good health and fortune in the new year, while the white chalk preserves the blessings being made.
There are many locations in Bangkok that host sprinkle of water – RCA, Khaosan Road, Silom, and in other parts of the country. In our case, we decided to play along Sukhumvit Road and near our homes. Regardless of our age and beliefs, we bought big water guns and sprinkled water to those who passed along the streets.
The Songkran Festival is quite refreshing, fun and known to be the best and loved event in Thailand. As a foreigner who was given the chance to witness this, I like it. Who wouldn’t love welcoming the new year getting splashed and soaked up, right? It’s kinda unique. Yet, whatever fun we may have, let’s not forget why we celebrate it in the first place.
Sawadee Pee Mai, Thailand!