Songkran, the wet new year in Thailand
If you are afraid of water or do not want to get wet despite the more than 30 degrees of April, Thailand will not leave home during the Songkran period, the Thai New Year. It's a happy and joyful party and the best way to experience it is to play the game. If you are on a moped and ask to slow down or stop, do so, so you will avoid falling because liters of water will bathe you anyway. You will also find yourself covered with talcum powder, but always with a smile.
Every year from April 13th to April 15th (even if occasionally the celebrations can continue until the 16th) falls the Thai New Year.
It is primarily a religious festival that marks the beginning of the Buddhist year, and for the traditionalists it remains so, while it has taken on for many others a much more modern and festive sense.
In fact, tradition has it that offers are made to the temple by bathing the images of Buddha with splashes of water and thoroughly cleaning their homes.
To wish good luck in a much more festive way instead of throwing water on passers-by, a veritable war of water bubbles and buckets of water that however can not bother much considering the temperatures of the period. In fact it is also known as Festival water (Water Festival) just because people believe that water wash away bad luck. There are many ways to throw water, from buckets and canes to water, to water guns and to elephants.
The Songkran marks the entrance to the sign of Aries and its full name is Songkran Major (Maha Songkran).
This holiday is not only typical of Thailand, but is also observed in Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Cambodia.
On the day of the eve, house cleaning is held, while on the 13th the believers open the festivities in the morning with the procession to the temple (Wat) of the village to bring offers to the monks, standing around a long table and with lined bowls ready to receive fruit, sweets and rice.
The afternoon is dedicated to the ceremony of purification of the Buddha's image, after which the water pouring festival can begin. The younger ones pay homage, pouring respectfully into the palms of the elderly and their loved ones scented water. The following then help them to dry and wear clean and fresh clothes to celebrate the new year in a dignified way.
During the three days of the feast, the faithful, with candles, incense sticks and bottles of perfumed water, go to the temple, light a candle and three sticks of incense, placing them together with a coronet of flowers in the containers in front of the Buddha's altar. Kneel in front of the sacred image then in the classic gesture of prayer that wants the palms of the hands against each other and repeatedly touching the forehead to the ground, end the ritual by pouring a small amount of water into the hands of the statue of the Buddha.