The Songkran Festival is a holiday that starts on April 13th every year in Thailand and celebrates Thai’s New Year. The festival usually lasts until the 15th of April. It is not only one of the most popular festivals with the people of Thailand but also attracts tourists from around the world.
History of Songkran Festival
In Sanskrit, Songkran means change. Which is probably why it was borrowed from Makar Sanskranti – the Hindu festival in India that is used to welcome the arrival of spring. However, while Makar Sankranti falls on January 15th, Songkran falls on April 13th – which aligns more with the New Year’s calendars of Southeast Asia. Coincidentally, it also happens to coincide with the rising of Aries on most astrological charts.
Songkran Customs & Celebrations
One of the most beloved traditions of this holiday is for people to mix fragrance into the water and then use that water to anoint their Buddha statues. People also pour this water on the highest ranking Buddhist monks. This is believed to bring the people who do it good luck. In some parts of Thailand, a Buddha statue is paraded down the street and all the people in attendance fling water at it. Another tradition is that all houses are cleaned out for the New Year.
The Songkran Water Festival is one of the biggest parts of this holiday. At this festival, residents splash each other with water and engage in various good-natured “water fights.” During these fights, they use their hands, water guns and buckets to splash each other with water.