What is Songkran?
If Thailand is on the list of countries that you want to visit, then you should not forget about Songkran.Songkran is an event that you should look forward to in any part of the country. It is a common festival that is held to celebrate the Thai New Year, which is a traditional New Year of that country, and quite different from the Western New Year that begins on the 1st of January. The local word used to describe the traditional New Year is derived from another word “Sanskrit” which means “approaching” or “passing”. The Thai New Year is an event which is celebrated in the Buddhist calendar.
The Meaning of Water
During the festival, water is used as a symbol to get rid of bad luck, tragedy and ills that may have plagued somebody in the previous year. The water symbolizes the start of a new year that offers a new beginning and promise. People who practice the tradition usually begin the rites by pouring water on top of their family members, friends and good neighbours, to wish them good luck. Water is poured on individuals using a bowl but in recent years, the practice has diversified, with people using all sorts of items to pour water on the recipients. You will therefore find people using hose pipes, buckets and even water guns to make their loved ones wet. Tourists who visit Thailand during the Songkran season, usually join the locals to partake in the festival in a joyous mood.
What You Must Do:
- The Songkran festival season is a wet event, so you should bring some waterproof clothing like a raincoat and make sure your belongings are also waterproofed.
- The event is fun, with water splashing everywhere, but keep an eye on your bags or possessions that you might have.
- The festival holiday is crowded, so it’s a good idea to use public transport to get to the popular destinations.
- In the local language, you can say “Sawasdee Pee Mai !” to send your New Year’s greetings.
- Be relaxed and enjoy the fun, a smile is recommended.
What You Must Not Do:
- In the course of the celebration, you might become overzealous. Show some respect on whom you decide to splash water on. It is rude and inconsiderate to pour water on older citizens, babies and Buddhist monks.
- Like anywhere in the world, you must obey traffic rules. Drunken driving is not allowed and it might put you in danger or jail.
- Remember that this is not an Ice Bucket Challenge, it is an occasion to pass good wishes and blessings for the New Year. Do not pour dirty water on people, neither should you pour extremely cold water or ice on people.
- You should not pour water on traffic, as this poses a hazard on the road.
HAVE A HAPPY SONGKRAN 2015