The theme of this week is the national holiday event. For my country, Songkran Festival or Thai New Year festival is one of the coolest events in Thailand. It starts from April 13 and lasts between 3 and 10 days, depending on where you are in Thailand.
Traditionally on the first day of the Songkran festival, all of family members will go to their temple in the early morning. People will be well dressed and equipped with their family’s specialty dishes to offer to monks. After the service at the temple is through, Thai people will spend time with their family and extended family – this can be very much like a yearly family reunion. In some areas, Thai people will go to a certain pagoda with scented water to spray and bath on the pagoda and Buddha images for good lucks and merits.
The second day of the Songkran Festival is considered to be the Thai New Year’s Eve. It is traditionally believed that one should refrain from cursing, acting improperly or committing any malicious deed on this day. Also, it is considered lucky to clean out the house and get rid of unwanted junk on this day.
On the last day of the Songkran Festival or the Thai New Year, Thai people will visit their elder relatives and perform a ‘Dam Hua” ceremony or gently pour scented water on the elder’s hands, which is believed to show respect and love to them. This belief gives birth to how Thai people used to gently ‘sprinkling’ water on each other in the traditional Songkran Festival but in the modern times, the gentle pouring of water has evolved into the somewhat crazy water fight. Songkran has therefore become well-known as the time that Thai people spray and splash water at one another and have fun with no reservation.
All of foreigners visit Thailand during that time will find that Songkran splendor in Thailand is absolutely the perfect time to put away all worries and cares of the western lifestyle. It is a time to let loose, wash away your stress and take part in something you can not even imagine. Arm yourself with a water pistol, put on your dry weave, and leave the camera in the room unless it is waterproof. Thailand is a beautiful country full of the most welcoming people in the world and Songkran Festival is without a doubt something that must be experienced in this lifetime.