Songkran Splendor 2012: Thai New Year Celebrations

Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year celebrations, take place during 9-22 April 2012. Across the country, it's a time for laughter and entertainment ... for religious ceremonies and merit-making ... for families and friends.

And of course for splashing water -- lots of it!

A spirit of good-natured fun permeates the holiday season. Songkran embodies the essential caring and unity at the core of Thai society - enduring qualities that make Thailand truly amazing.

"Songkran" is a word from the Sanskrit language which means to "move into" and refers to the orbit of the sun moving into Aries. It marks the end of a 12-month cycle and the beginning of a new solar year. Songkran is therefore the Thai New Year celebrations.

songkran splendor 2012: thai new year celebrations hinh 0
This traditional Thai custom of merry-making is the Kingdom's most “sanuk” (fun-filled) festival, celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm, nation-wide, once a year. In most parts of the country, Songkran extends over a period of 3 days.

Known the world-over for its characteristic tradition of water-throwing ranging from a courteous sprinkle or a polite splash, to harmless water pistols and showers from garden hoses to the well-aimed bucket or water-cannon delivered in a festive spirit. Without a doubt, on the practical side, Songkran is a refreshing solution to "beating the heat" in the hottest season of the year. There is a however a much deeper significance to "Songkran".

Apart from marking a new beginning, Songkran is also a time for thanksgiving. It is an important time for individuals to reflect upon the many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness each has personally experienced and to remember how such acts of generosity and compassion bring peace, happiness and well-being. Songkran is also the time for reunions and family ties are renewed.

At the heart of each Thai custom and tradition, there is always a logical reason for its existence. The festive elements of the celebration, the cultural values, the social code of conduct and individual belief and practices are intertwined. Songkran embodies the traditional Thai cultural values.

The underlying significance of Songkran is the process of cleansing and purification — the purging of all ills, misfortune and evil and starting the New Year afresh with all that is good and pure. Water is symbolic of the cleaning process and signifies purity.

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