The Songkran Festival is the traditional Thai New Year, marked by the celebration of water throwing, majorly in Thailand. ‘Songkran’ is derived from the Sanskrit word Sankranti which literally means shifting of the sun from one zodiac to another. Also known as the Thailand Water Festival, Songkran is a revelry carried out on a span of three days, i.e. 13th April to 15th April, where the last day marks the advent of a New Year. Besides an extensive celebration of Songkran in Thailand, this festival is observed in many other places, including Burma, Cambodia, and the Lao State.
The people of Thailand clean their houses and come together to celebrate the Songkran Festival. They visit the temples, carry out the ceremonial sprinkling of water on Buddha images and other deities, make offerings to the temple, and sprinkle water on each other’s hands as an act of wishing good luck. It also meant that by doing this, bad conduct and bad thoughts would flow away with the water.
The pouring of water is considered an act of cleansing of the spirit, mind and body. Purification of the house, previous year’s bad deeds, Buddha’s statue, and one’s own spirit is done. The water is also believed to wash away bad luck. This Thailand Water Festival is a perfect time to get drenched as the occasion falls during the hottest time of the year and the water tends to be relieving and refreshing.
In the recent years, the tradition of sprinkling of water has been transformed into major fun-filled water fights amongst youngsters, and it is not unusual to see buckets and containers of water being carried down the streets on trucks and eventually splashed at you by various teams as you make your way down the lanes in Thailand. Some people position themselves at the side of the roads with hosepipes in order to drench anyone that passes! The more water you have splashed over you the luckier you are! Small children equip themselves with water guns and spray water on anyone who comes in…