Friday, April 13, 2012
Happy Thai New Year
Songkran is thai new year literally translated: astrological passage based on the astrological event of the sun beginning its northward journey.
The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks.
Besides the throwing of water, people celebrating Songkran as a Buddhist festival may also go to a wat (Buddhist monastery) to pray and give food to monks. They may also cleanse Buddha images from household shrines as well as Buddha images at monasteries by gently pouring water mixed with a Thai fragrance over them. It is believed that doing this will bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year.
Songkran is a time for cleaning and renewal. Besides washing household Buddha images, many Thais also take this opportunity to give their home a thorough cleaning.
The water is meant as a symbol of washing all of the bad away and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner.
Thailand and its amazing people will always inspire me.