Everything You Need to Know About the Songkran Festival
If you live in Thailand, you’ve probably heard of the Songkran water festival. This festival is usually celebrated in the middle of April, and it’s one of the grandest and most important events because it marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Here are a few things you should know about this festival:
It’s a Three-Day Celebration
This year the celebration will start on Tuesday, April 13th, and end on April 15th. The official opening ceremony is usually held at Wat Pho, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand that’s home to the gold-plated reclining Buddha. Other celebrations are also held on different streets.
Chiang Mai Is the Best Place to Celebrate
Although the festival is celebrated in all cities across the country, the city of Chiang Mai has a reputation of being one of the best places to enjoy Songkran with a variety of cultural activities and street parades in addition to the mass water fights that usually take place across the city. Other cities such as Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya host great events to celebrate as well.
There are Buddha Images and Processions Everywhere
On the very first day of the festival, Thai people start the celebration with a procession and Buddha images all over the country. Most stores, restaurants, and even banks close their installations to let their employees go and reunite with their respective families. The next day is known as the family day because everyone wakes up early and spends the day sharing quality family time together.
It’s the Perfect Time to Clean!
Many Thais celebrate the arrival of the New Year by cleaning everything thoroughly, from their own houses to public temples. Cleaning is a way of symbolically wiping anything old away to open up space for all the new, good luck to enter and infuse their homes.
Young People Pay Tribute to the Older Ones
This is a followed religious celebration for Thais and marks a period of holiday where all Thais return home and celebrate with their parents. Blessings are given to the parents and grandparents and forgiveness is often asked by washing their hands and feet with water infused with rose and jasmine.
It Involves a Lot of Water
According to Thais, the splashes of water is a blessing you address to whoever you so desire to wash off all misfortunes, cleanse away the past and bring luck, prosperity, and health for the future New Year!
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