Song Kran 2024

Songkran 2024, the Festival of Refreshment of Thailand

Songkran, the Festival of Refreshment, is a time of coolness and tranquility in the hot season of every year, and the beautiful friendship on the land of Thailand. ‘Songkran’ is a word that Thailand has adapted from word “Sankranti” the ancient Sanskrit language, meaning “to move, to walk, to go forward, to continue, to rotate.” It signifies the transition from the old year to the new year for the Thai people.

How did Songkran come about?
The hot season in April is considered the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year for Thais. It is the hottest period in all regions of Thailand. Therefore, ancient Thais sought ways to cool down by splashing water, bathing, and playing in the water. As they did this more and more often, the tradition of Songkran’s water splashing gradually emerged.

We cannot pinpoint exactly when the Songkran tradition started, but we can assume it has existed since human settlements were established in the area that is now Thailand, and the people experienced intense heat during the hot season, so they played in the water to refresh their bodies and minds. Water play during the hot season, or Songkran, is a shared tradition among countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and parts of Vietnam. We can say that playing in the water during the hot season is a common tradition in this region, although some countries or communities have adapted their own unique forms and styles.

When Buddhism spread from India to Thailand, Thai people in some communities adapted the traditional Songkran tradition to incorporate Buddhist merit-making practices, such as making merit by offering alms to monks in the morning, building sand stupas in temples, decorating temples with trees, flowers, and animal-shaped or flower-shaped flags, releasing birds and fish, and abstaining from undesirable behaviors like lying, deceiving, harming others, stealing, and sexual misconduct.

Furthermore, the Thai Songkran tradition is connected to ancient Indian beliefs. Therefore, Thai Songkran legends and stories are also based on ancient Indian legends, such as the belief in guardian deities of Songkran each year, with each deity having a distinctive appearance, attire, ornaments, food, and animal mounts.

Songkran is a joyous celebration, but it also carries dangers that require caution. Songkran festivities across Thailand are fun, refreshing, and enjoyable, but one must be vigilant about road accidents, traffic, and playing Songkran in an unsafe manner. While there are regulations prohibiting the use of powder, forceful water splashing, and using dirty water, as well as drinking and driving, some people may not respect these rules, resulting in over 100 accidents and casualties almost every year.

When celebrating Songkran in Thailand, choose safe locations, play responsibly without excess, and avoid overcrowding. Exercise restraint and caution, and you will surely experience the beautiful and memorable Songkran tradition.

More information : Maha Songkran Festival 2024 in Thailand
World water festival

Happy Songkran 2024!
Happy Thai New Year!

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