We all enjoy New Year celebrations. They’re a chance to say goodbye to unproductive old habits and usher in new ideas and new hopes, as well as a chance to party and enjoy ourselves in the company of the ones we love the most. The only downside is that we only get a few hours of celebrations as January 1st arrives, and then it’s all over. That’s true for New Year in America, and in many countries across the globe, but Songkran is something even more spectacular. If you don’t know what Songkran is, it’s the ancient Sanskrit name for the Thai New Year, and here are five reasons you simply have to experience it.
New Year celebrations are so much fun, why restrict your enjoyment to just one day a year? People in Thailand certainly don’t do that, as they still celebrate New Year at the start of January whilst also celebrating their traditional new year in mid-April. Originally this timing was used as it coincided with the rise of Aries in the zodiac, and this was thought to be the surest sign of the start of spring, and the bounties that it produces. That’s why it’s a celebration which has ancient green credentials and is all about protecting earth’s natural harmony.
New Year revelers in Thailand not only have two new years to celebrate, but they also enjoy extended festivities at Songkran. The actual fixed date of this Thai New Year is 13th April, but celebrations always last until 15th April. In 2018, the Thai government extended this much-loved national holiday, so that it stretched from the 12th to 16th of April, giving people time to travel to be with their families, and of course, meaning that celebrations could be even bigger and more joyous.
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Songkran is enjoyed not only in Thailand itself but also in other areas of southeast Asia, including the paradise island of Guam. The Guam best hotels hold Songkran celebrations throughout the three days of festivities, meaning that visitors from across the world can join in its merriment, including a traditional Songkran water ceremony.
Songkran celebrations can be very high tech, yet they all hark back to its ancient origins celebrating the crop, encouraging the arrival of the rains of spring. That’s why water plays such a huge part in Songkran and revelers often carry huge water pistols and soak everyone they see, as well as throwing buckets of water in every direction. You’re sure to get wet, but you’re also sure to have a great time.
The bathing of Buddha statues is just one of the traditional rituals you’ll see at Songkran time, and it’s a moving sight whatever faith, or none, you profess. You’ll also get to eat lots and lots of traditional Thai food, and as Thai cuisine is among the best in the world, this festival is a treat for your taste buds as well as your eyes.
Songkran is a mixture of ancient and modern, where you’ll see great statues of Buddha carried aloft, and children dousing everyone in sight with water blasters. Above all else, it’s a joyful and life-affirming celebration of spring and the New Year, so whether you’re in Thailand or Guam, it’s a festival that you’ll never forget.