It’s that time of the year again! Happy Songkran!
Songkran is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from April 13-15th and is an important event on the Buddhist calendar. The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water upon others. The water is meant as a symbol of washing all of the bad away from the previous year.
Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns. In addition, many Thais will have small bowls of beige colored talc mixed with water which is then smeared on the faces and bodies of random passersby as a blessing for the new year.
Besides the throwing of water, people celebrating Songkran as a Buddhist festival in which many will go to a Buddhist monastery to pray and give food to monks.
The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this “blessed” water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder. Among young people the holiday evolved to include dousing strangers with water to relieve the heat, since April is the hottest month in Thailand