13 April 2015
The scorching heat of summer is no exemption for Thai culture. April is the hottest month of the year, and it is the time when Thai people celebrate the Thai New Year Songkran. Celebrations are carried throughout the Kingdom, and Bangkok has the most number of people including foreigners who are also there to join the longest celebration in the country. Street parties, family reunions and friendly water fights are all combined, making Songkran as the grandest and the most colorful event.
Songkran festival is a 3-day Holiday and is a Thai’s way of celebrating New Year. In the past years, the date lies based on the lunar calendar but now it is fixed and usually being celebrated on April 13-April 15. Based on tradition, Songkran is about family and religious worship.
As part of the event, families conduct reunions, offer prayers and food to the monks, visit temples and clean their houses believing that these would bring good luck for the remaining months of the year. Also, during the event, younger individuals pour water with exotic perfume in the palms of elders and Buddha images to ask for blessing.
Like other cultures, Thailand is also rich in so many beliefs and symbolisms. The water as part of the event symbolizes “cleansing” or “rejuvenating”. Of course, who would want to get wet in the middle of the streets for no good reason? The truth is that, natives throw water to others to wash all the misfortunes and struggles in the previous year as well as to refresh everything for the brand new year.
After all, Songkran is not just about fun but an event that teaches people about the meaning of faith and respect. In Thailand, there is no doubt natives are the most friendly and respectful. (Information courtesy by www.songkran2014.com)