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30/Mar/10
"Songkran"- The Thai New Year

The Thai New Year is celebrated as the Songkran Festival with New Year's Day falling this year on the13th of April. Songkran comes from an old Sanskrit word meaning “Beginning of the Solar Year”. The summer solstice in these latitudes falls in April and in ancient times the festival was probably much like the 'mid summer' festival that originated from pagan times in Europe. It is variously referred to here as 'The Beginning of the Lunar Year”, 'The Start of the Return of the Rains” and, of course, as 'Thai New Year”. These days, Thais clean their houses thoroughly prior to the Songkran celebrations, and on Songkran day, merit offerings are made at Buddhist temples. Children show their respect to elders by performing the water ceremony, by pouring water into the palms of parents and the hands of older relatives. In the streets, people splash water on one another. Songkran lasts for 3 days and is called “Home Coming Day”, as families have a get-together.


The most visible sign is this 'splashing of water' in the streets. It goes on all day from dawn till dusk. It's usually far more than 'splashing' and in our experience anyone who ventures out is in for a good soaking and a liberal coating of perfumed powder on the face! You are warned! And so if you are staying with us around that time, we will ensure that you celebrate a joyful and memorable Songkran day, most likely very wet!

 

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