Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Songkran, water festival in Thailand



Come spring,the whole world starts celebrating the blooms, celebrating the new life. Look at the  similarities across the region irrespective of different ethnicity! They may call it by different names and celebrate  it in  diverse ways. But it represents new life.  In India, we celebrate Holi, the colorful festival, Ugadi in south India. Chinese celebrate new year, Japanese have spring festival. Thailand celebrates Songkran new year festival during April. This is one fun festival playing  with water during  the blazing summer season.  Thailand is celebrating  Songkran from yesterday and it will go on for next 2 day. 

Girl pouring water on the Buddha statue
Songkran is about purification. I could draw so many similarities between Indian and Thai rituals. They clean their home a day prior to the festival. On the day of the festival  pay respects to the elders of the family and sprinkling water. They go to temples and pour water on the shoulder and legs of Buddha. The pouring of water symbolizes cleansing the body, mind and soul and to start a new journey. Getting wet is supposed to be good luck during Songkran. Then rest of the festival is all fun with water fights. They splash water on each other. If you are walking on the streets during  Songkran for sure you will get  wet. You will be attacked by water pistols and buckets  of water.

Flowers always represent festive mood
Chiang Mai is the most happening place for Songkran in Thailand. I was there till a day before Songkran. I couldn’t stay for Songkran though. I am missing it. Wish I could stay for few more days. Someday I will go to Thailand to be part of Songkran for sure. 
Hotels getting ready for Songkran
 Whole of Chiang Mai was getting ready for the festival.  Markets bustling with jasmine flowers, shops getting cleaned, music from the shops, hotels getting decorated, yellow blooms in the trees.. everything was resonating Songkran. 
Yellow flowers were dominating the city
 I loved the trees abundantly carrying Cassia fistula, golden yellow flowers. This is the same flower in India, people use as a special flower for Vishu, Keralites new year. Co incidentally that falls on the same day as Songkran this year and both follow the  solar calender! Yes. It is Tamil new year as well.

I Wish Happy new year to my Thai friends ..and Happy Vishu and Tamil new year  to all those celebrating it  in India.

Have you seen the Songkran ? Pls share your experience 

9 comments:

  1. Yes, I have been seeing some photographs of Songkran celebrations and it looks quite similar to Holi, but probably celebrated at a large scale.

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    1. Yes VJ Sharma.. Whole town will go out getting wet. Lovely celebrations ..

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  2. What a lovely festival, right? No, I have never personally seen Songkran, but heard enough about it. It'd be such a pleasure to experience it though.

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    Replies
    1. True Pratishtha.. I know. I am so disspointed that i could not be there. But the whole city was getting geared up. I love its fun parts as well as the belief behind the festival.

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  3. One of my friends told me about this festival which got me to search about it online. It’s really nice, unique, and innovative concept. I wonder why we don’t have such events in NYC. I am not sure many people even know about it here.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Mark it is very lively,lovely festival. It would be certainly full of fun to witness this

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