You must have always thought of Thailand as a place for parties, fun and a wild ride. But what if there is one event that can change your perception about this great country, once and for all? We are talking about the famous Songkran festival of Thailand. It’s your chance to get up, close and personal with the aesthetic culture, beaches and people of Thailand. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s give you a little peek.
What is Songkran Water Festival?
Originating from a Sanskrit word ‘samkranti’ Songkran is a national holiday for the people of Thailand. The preparation of the festival starts almost a week in advance but the actual date when the festival takes place is 13th April every year and ends on April 16 officially. People celebrate a week of fun-filled activities, excitement and happiness to welcome a new year and bid adieu to the year that has passed. The festival symbolizes transformation or change from the past looking with fresh hopes towards the future.
How is it celebrated?
Songkran holds a special place in the heart of Thai people as they consider it to be the beginning of new hopes. It is customary to wish each other ‘sawatdee pi mai’ or Happy New Year. Since it is a water festival, so water is an important element of the festival because it signifies fertility, love, thankfulness and compassion for them. People clean their place, gift their loved ones, which brings a smile to people on the streets with happy faces everywhere.
Maha and Wan Nao Songkran
Confused after reading the names? Well, don’t be. These are official days dedicated to celebrate the festival in Thai way. Like every festival has importance to it, so is the Songkran festival. So, the first official day of the festivities is Maha Songkran on April 13. It is the day to appreciate the senior citizens of the country. Families pay tribute to their elders by offering gifts and sweets. Nothing can be more beautiful than entering a new year with the blessings of the elderly, isn’t it? The second day is Wan Nao Songkran, which signifies the sun traveling between Pisces and Aries. There is another unique way to celebrate it. People collect sand as a part of tradition and take it to temples. The sand symbolizes the dirt being carried away by god and the almighty blessing the Thai people with a clean soul for the year ahead. How sweet, don’t you agree?
There are plenty of sentiments with this festival. As a mark of respect, people of Thailand offer prayers to their deity and distribute sweets to the monks in the temple. They pour water on the idols of Lord Buddha which represents a purification of sins over the last year. During Songkran week, streets officially remain closed. Instead, people indulge in massive water fights where they come prepared with water guns and large buckets. How lovely it must be to see pelting water balloons (though gently) over your loved ones?
See another side of Thailand this year
Book your tickets on Airtkt and get ready to greet the locals by practicing the sentence ‘sawatdee pi mai’. Till then, pack your bags and get ready to fly.