Every year on April 13, Thailand begins the Songkran Festival, which celebrates the traditional Thai New Year. This year the celebration lasts until Thursday, April 15. Songkran means ‘to pass’, signifying the transition and fresh start of the new year. Water is a key aspect of Songkran, as you can expect people to be running through the streets splashing water at each other. The festival is also a time for the Thai people to pour water over Buddhist images and Buddhist monks in order to bring good luck. The Songkran party is not just a water fight. It hearkens back to how the holiday began: cleansing the Buddha with water. When someone blasts you with a water gun in the street it is actually a blessing and a wish for good luck. It’s considered a favor, because the water cleanses you.
Family is the other key component of The Songkran Festival. It’s a time for family members to gather, and especially to pay respects to their elders. Chiang Mai (where many of our artisans are from!) hosts one of the country’s most popular Songkran Festival celebrations. They kick things off a couple days earlier in Chiang Mai, starting with a city parade. In the days following, Chiang Mai is filled with street vendors, delicious food, traditional performances, and water splashing everywhere!
- Also known as the Buddhist New Year
- Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar also celebrate the Songkran Festival
- It is customary to wear bright and floral colors during this time
- Songkran is often referred to as the biggest water fight in the world!
- Children wash their parents feet with Nam Op, rose and jasmine water
- Offerings can be found left at temples all around Thailand
- Waterguns, water balloons, and buckets are all common choices for the water fights!
- It’s tradition for people to release birds and fish into the river
- Houses must be cleaned the day before the celebration in order to prevent bad luck in the New Year.
- Elephants participate too! They spray the water into the crowds with their trunks!
Happy Songkran! From the Lotus and Luna Family