Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year Festival which takes place from 13-15 April every year.
It’s the longest official national holiday, and many people use this as an opportunity to go back to visit their hometown, celebrate with their friends and families and play with water.
Origin of Songkran
The word ‘Songkran’ is derived from ancient Sanskrit. It means to ‘step into’ or ‘to pass into’, and describes the monthly movement or ‘astrological passage’ within the zodiac from one sphere to the next. In April, the sun leaves the sphere of Aries and enters that of Taurus, a period known as Maha Songkran, which marks the start of the Thai New Year.
Traditional celebration of Songkran Festival
There are many other activities you can do with Your Child and your loved ones.
13 April – Songkran Day and Song Nam Phra: Traditionally people would focus on refreshing their homes and cleaning, to get rid of bad luck from last year and prepare the family for good fortune in the new year to come. Another main activity for this day is Song Nam Phra, a ritual of pouring scented water onto the body of a Buddha statue.
14 April – Family Day: The second day is for the family to celebrate love and togetherness, and to pay respect to the elders by the ceremony Rot Nam Dam Hua. The young in the family will prepare scented water with some rose petals and jasmines to wash their parents’ feet and ask for their blessings in return. Another fun activity for families is building sand stupas at the temple to make a spiritual offering.
15 April – Talerng Sok Day: This is the day when the new year begins. Some people believe wearing new clothes or buying new things today would bring them good fortune for the coming year.
Modern interpretation and celebration
Most kids and teenagers carry water guns or use water hoses to splash water in Songkran celebrations nowadays. Some might even rent a pickup truck just to drive around and splash water in festival areas. These activities make the festival feel alive and fascinating, which appeals to tourists from around the world.
Today Songkran is also the time for people who have relocated to travel back to their hometowns to spend time with their loved ones. It is a celebration that embraces goodwill, love, compassion, and thankfulness. We hope you have a wonderful time with Your Child and your family this year too.