5 Cool Facts about Thailand New Year's Songkran Festival
In Thailand, the new year is not only a celebration of fresh starts and letting go of the past, but it’s also a time for one of the most fascinating celebrations in the world. With roots in ancient Hindu traditions, the Thai Songkran Festival celebrating the new year starts in mid-April and is magical to behold. Here are five of the coolest facts about this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
1. Water over Buddha (and you!)
One of the main traditions of the Songkran Festival is the water fights. This customary pouring of water over Buddha statues (and fellow celebrants!) leads to an atmosphere of revelry and lots of fun. People gather on the streets with water guns, buckets, and hoses to drench each other as a symbol of cleansing and renewal. In addition to symbolizing cleansing, water is also used to wash away bad luck and negativity from the previous year. The festive atmosphere is contagious and an experience you will never forget. Just remember, the cleansing waters can turn into wild party-goer water fights, so dress accordingly!
2. Giving with love
During the Songkran Festival, it is common to celebrate not only for yourself but also by giving gifts to those you love, such as traditional Thai sweets, flowers, and clothing. Giving gifts is a way to show respect and gratitude to loved ones.
3. Zodiac roots
Derived from the Sanskrit term “Sankranti,” Sangkran means “movement.” This movement is anchored in the Zodiac calendar, with the Songkran Festival happening when the sun moves from Pisces to Aries in the zodiac, signifying moving into a new year and letting go of the past year.
4. From Chaweng to Surin Beach
Stunning Locations: The Songkran Festival is celebrated throughout Thailand, with each region having its unique customs and traditions. Whether you want to do brunch (and foam parties!) on Chaweng’s main high street, experience the family-focused festivities in Khao Lak, or celebrate low-key style on the white-sand shores of Surin Beach, Thailand has something for everyone. Songkrak is also celebrated throughout Southeast Asia in neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Each country has its unique customs and traditions, but the festival’s central theme of renewal and cleansing remains the same.
5. Families welcome
While the Songkran Festival is more often known for its party-goers, it’s also a beautiful family celebration. Entire families gather to pay respect to their elders and perform traditional rituals together, such as pouring water over the hands of parents and grandparents and gathering for group celebrations.
Stay at one of Outrigger’s beautiful Thailand resorts to join in these truly magical Songkran festivities and celebrate the new year in a whole new way!
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