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The Thai New Year (Thai: สงกรานต์ Songkran, from Sanskrit sankrānthi “astrological passage”; Chinese: 潑水節) is celebrated every yr from April 13 to April 15. It coincides alongside the New Year’s Day of many calendars of South as well as Southeast Asia.
The appointment of the festival was originally laid past times astrological calculation, simply it is at nowadays fixed. If these days autumn on a weekend, the missed days off are taken on the weekdays right away following. If they autumn inward the middle of the week, many Thai direct keep off from the previous Fri until the next Monday. Songkran falls inward the hottest fourth dimension of the yr inward Thailand, at the destination of the dry out season. Until 1888 the Thai New Year’s Day was the get-go of the yr inward Thailand; thereafter one Apr was used until 1940. one Jan is at nowadays the get-go of the year. The traditional Thai New Year’s Day has been a national vacation since then.
New yr traditions
The nigh obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. People roam the streets alongside containers of H2O or H2O guns, or ship service themselves at the side of roads alongside a garden hose as well as drench each other as well as passersby. This, however, was non ever the primary activeness of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a fourth dimension to view as well as pay respects to elders, including identify unit of measurement members, friends as well as neighbors.
Besides the throwing of water, people celebrating Songkran may equally good become to a wat (Buddhist monastery) to pray as well as give nutrient to monks. They may equally good cleanse Buddha images from household shrines equally good equally Buddha images at monasteries past times gently pouring H2O mixed alongside a Thai fragrance (Thai: น้ำอบไทย) over them. It is believed that doing this volition convey proficient luck as well as prosperity for the New Year. In many cities, such equally Chiang Mai, the Buddha images from all of the city’s of import monasteries are paraded through the streets hence that people tin sack toss H2O at them, ritually ‘bathing’ the images, equally they overstep past times on ornately decorated floats. In northern Thailand, people may conduct handfuls of sand to their neighborhood monastery inward corporation to recompense the dirt that they direct keep carried away on their feet during the balance of the year. The sand is as well as then sculpted into stupa-shaped piles as well as decorated alongside colorful flags.
Some people brand New Year’s Day resolutions – to refrain from bad behavior, or to create proficient things. Songkran is a fourth dimension for cleaning as well as renewal. Besides washing household Buddha images, many Thais equally good direct keep this chance to give their domicile a thorough cleaning.
The throwing of H2O originated equally a way to pay honor to people, past times capturing the H2O afterwards it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing as well as and then using this “blessed” H2O to give proficient fortune to elders as well as identify unit of measurement past times gently pouring it on the shoulder. Among immature people the vacation evolved to include dousing strangers alongside H2O to salve the heat, since Apr is the hottest calendar month inward Thailand (temperatures tin sack ascension to over 100°F or 40°C on about days). This has farther evolved into H2O fights as well as splashing H2O over people riding inward vehicles.
Nowadays, the emphasis is on fun as well as water-throwing rather than on the festival’s spiritual as well as religious aspects, which sometimes prompts complaints from traditionalists. In recent years at that spot direct keep been calls to moderate the festival to lessen the many alcohol-related route accidents equally good equally injuries attributed to extreme deportment such equally H2O existence thrown inward the faces of traveling motorcyclists.
The H2O is meant equally a symbol of washing all of the bad away as well as is sometimes filled alongside fragrant herbs.
Songkran is equally good celebrated inward many places alongside a pageant inward which immature women demonstrate their beauty as well as unique talents, equally judged past times the audience. The grade of fiscal back upward commonly determines the winner, since, to demonstrate your back upward you lot must buy necklaces which you lot identify on your chosen girl.
Although the traditional calendar of Thailand similar nigh of Southeast Asia utilizes a lunisolar calendar, the appointment of the novel yr was calculated on a purely solar basis. The term Songkran comes from Sanskrit “Sankranta” as well as agency “a movement or change” – inward this illustration the movement of the Sun into the Aries zodiac. Originally this happened at the vernal equinox, but, equally the Thai star divination did non notice precession, the appointment moved from March to April.
There is a similar named Indian Festival called equally Sankrant or Makar Sankranti celebrated on xiv Jan every year. Songkran equally such has similarity to Indian festival of Holi.
The traditional novel yr celebration inward Sri Lanka equally good coincides alongside the Thai novel year.
The traditional greeting is “สวัสดีปีใหม่” (sa-wat-dee pee mai), basically “Happy New Year”. “Sawasdee” = equally good used for “hello” or “goodbye” (Romanized spellings may vary, i.e. “sawatdee”, “sawadee” or “sawasdee”). “Pee” = year. “Mai” = new. Or “สุขสันต์ปีใหม่” (suk-san pee mai), “Suksan” = Happy.
However, nigh people purpose “สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์” (suk-san wan songkran) – pregnant “Happy Songkran Day” – since “pi mai” is to a greater extent than oft linked alongside the foremost of January. “Suksan” is equally good used equally an attribute for other days such equally “Valentine’s Day” (“สุขสันต์วันแห่งความรัก”, suk-san wan haeng khwam rak) = Happy Valentine’s Day.