Thai New Year (Songkran)
Thai New Year or Songkran is a traditional Thai New Year that celebrated throughout the country every year from 13rd. to 15th of April . The Thai New Year or Songkran festival is typical Thai blend of traditional ritual and folk festival: the word “Songkran” means “transition” or “progress“. The three days of the Songkran Festival are therefore a time to commemorate the past while celebrating the transition to something new. The most important traditional part of the Songkran Festival is showing respect to elders and family members. The younger ones pour water into the hands of their parents and grandparents to show their love and gratitude. In return, the elders bless the younger ones and wish them happiness and success in life. This custom of dousing each other with water has, in recent years, developed into regular water fights that are held boisterously on streets across the country therefore visitors should always be prepared to get wet during these three days….
The first of the three days, the Maha Songkran, is the last day of the old year when people traditionally clean their houses and prepare for the upcoming festivities. The second day of Wan Nao, people prepare food for the Buddhist ceremonies and the third day called Wan Thaloeng Sok, people go early in the morning with new clothes and the prepared food to the temples to make offerings to the monks. In the temples, the Buddha images are bathed in order to “cleanse” them, and small chedis (pointed towers) are often built out of sand in the temple’s front courtyard.
During these three days – and also before and after – boisterous celebrations take place all over the country, which differ in their customs and traditions depending on the region.
Bangkok hosts the biggest celebrations of the Water Festival or Songkran. The celebrations in and around Wat Pho are particularly impressive. Many stalls selling traditional Thai food and colourful cultural performances also attract visitors on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Khao San Road, Phra Athit Road and Sanam Luang, etc.
In Ayuttaya, the Water Festival or Songkran Festival is celebrated in the historical park and in front of the Viharn Phra Mongkon Bophit. According to old tradition, offering are first given to the monks before the bathing of the Buddha statues begins. Also an important part of the traditional festival is the release of fish and birds to ensure good karma, as well as the annual Miss Songkran contest and flower parade.
The Water festival is also celebrated in the former capital Sukhothai: in and around the city’s historic park, the Buddha statues are bathed according to old tradition and small sand chedis (pointed towers) are built. The floating market and numerous food stalls provide for the visitors.
The Water Festival or Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai is famous for its magnificent parades and beauty contest. During the big parade, lovingly decorated floats with Buddha statues parade through Chiang Mai, accompanied by musicians and the people of the city. In front of Wat Pra Singh , people form small chedis out of sand according to old tradition. The many traditional northern Thai-style cultural performances keep visitors from all over the world entertained.
In recent years, the Songkran Festival in Phuket has developed into a water festival. Even more than in other parts of the country, people on Phuket splash water on each other. Not only because being splash with water is said to bring good luck, but it also provides a cooling effect which can be seen to benefit those involved given the high temperatures of southern Thailand in the summer. The wildest water fights take place especially on Patong Beach and other popular tourist spots.
See more information program of Water Festival in Thailand https://www.tatnews.org/2022/04/tat-announces-songkran-2022-festivities-in-new-normal/
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