The Thai New year celebration is accompanied by a water festival, where I wish to visit the tourists from different corners of the world. The Songkran (also called Thai New year) intertwined Buddhist, family and modern traditions. That is why tourists are interested in, to commemorate the occasion in advance to prepare and to plan your trip.
Thais can be called a unique people as they celebrate New year 3 times:
- Together with the European countries (1 January). Celebration on the streets, in hotels and other places more arranged for tourists. For locals it does not matter.
- According to the Chinese calendar. Together with other peoples the Thai people greeted the arrival of a new patron-the animal according to the Eastern horoscope. Every year the date changes.
- Songkran. Traditional festival of Thailand, which has ancient roots and established traditions. Translates from Sanskrit as “transition”.
Important! Thai New year in 2021 will be celebrated April 13-15. In some regions, festivities start at 11 and continue until April 17-19.
And although the holiday is associated with the lunar calendar, as it marks the transition of the Sun from the constellation of Pisces into Aries, its date is fixed, and therefore does not change from year to year. Regardless of the days of the week in Thailand on 13-15 of April are public holidays. The authorities approved the resolution that the residents of the cities could go to their relatives living in far provinces.
The holiday is rooted in Ancient India. It was there that it was the custom to pour each other with water. It symbolized the coming of the rainy season. To Eastern peoples this time of year is important, because rainfall is the key to a good harvest of rice. This product is the main diet of people living in the East.
Gradually, the water festival has spread to all the peoples of Indochina, including Thailand. Over time it is closely intertwined with the local traditions. Now Songkran is celebrated not only in Thailand but also neighboring countries. And even after centuries, Thais have preserved ancient rites.
The water festival
Songkran celebration is a fun event that covers the whole country. Its main feature is the water festival. Satisfied it is usually on the second day, that is April 14, although traditions in different regions may vary slightly.
During the festival people from big companies go out and arrange these water fights. They doused each other with water pistols, bowls, buckets and other utensils. On the streets set a huge barrel filled with water. Also ride through the streets of pickups with the filled containers. People who sit in them, sprinkled the bystanders with water. The festival is accompanied by laughter and shouts of joy, with him, no one leaves dry.
The rite of pouring water has a deep sense of the sacred. Thais believe that the way they wash away with the dirt in the literal and figurative sense. In other words, they cleanse the body and soul. During the festival, people also sprinkle each other with talc or clay. These substances in the country are used as hygiene, that is, they help to purify the body and soul. The locals believe that the more a man is doused, the more prosperity and happiness awaits him in the coming year.
Some advice to the tourists
If you stay in Thailand coincided with the celebration of Songkran, you should use the following tips:
- When going outside, choose light clothes that do not shed.
- Phone, camera and documents should be well protected from water.
- Do not take a purse, backpack or other accessories.
- It’s wise to stock up on water guns or the appropriate cookware if there is a desire to participate in the festival.
- Women and girls should abandon makeup because of the water he quickly eroded.
- When you ride a bike you need to go with a small speed. The road surface is very wet and slippery. In addition, the participants of the festival crowd can start pouring, and so to stay on the scooter will be difficult.
If you do not want to get wet, then it is better not to go outside because it’s impossible to stay dry.
Preparation for the festival begins in a few days. 3 days before the Songkran, Thais perform the following rite. They collect from the table leftovers, collecting rags and old clothes are still on the vacant lot and discarded. Thus to say the words: “Begone!”. So they clean their homes from all evil. In anticipation of the holiday local residents be sure to sing new year’s prayer. Some invite a Lama to do a cleansing ritual at home.
As the Thai New year has religious meaning, the first day of the celebration, the locals definitely go to the temple. In designated areas in the city sat the monks. Thais give them treats, wrapped in palm leaves. Prepare their women on the eve of Songkran with a special ancient recipes. Alms to monks is seen as a manifestation of reverence to the Buddha.
Another old custom of New year in Thailand is the ritual washing of Buddha statues. On returning from the temple the Thais definitely watered a figure of the spiritual master of water with Jasmine leaves and flowers. To show respect to elders, younger members of the family pour their hands.
Songkran is a family holiday. Relatives gather at one table, congratulate each other, exchange news and future plans. Unhurried conversation, including philosophical topics, can last for all day long. Don’t forget Thais and about deceased relatives. The day ends with a common prayer for the repose of their souls.
How celebrate New year in Thailand: video