Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Experience The Songkran Festival Or The Thai New Year

Get the chance to experience and participate on Thai people's traditional activities during the Songkran Festival or the Thai New Year, a four-day activity that happens in the month of April every year. Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike are welcome to go to the temple and witness various activities, eat, drink, and throw water. The four-day activity consists of the following:

April 12 - it is called as the Wan Sungkharn Lohng. Thai people on this day do the house cleaning and general preparation for the New Year. However, if you are in Chiang Mai, this is the day wherein the Songkran procession is held. The procession consists of Buddha images and attendant on beautifully floats with beautiful d├ęcors accompanied by the locals and minstrels. After the procession or parade, the water fight will follow.

April 13 is the day Wan Nao. This is the day where people cooked foods and preserved it for the Buddhist merit -making that is happening on the following day. On the other hand, activities happening at the Wat Prasingh temple continue and locals go to the banks of the Mae Ping River in the evening to gather sand and deposit it in piles topped with flowers in the temple.

April 14 is the third day of celebration and is called as the Wan Payawan. On this is day is when the grand New Year celebration begins at early in the morning with people doing some merit-making at the temples. Those preserved food that are cooked the other day are being offered. Other than preserved and cooked foods, offered items at the temples are fresh fruits, monks' robes and other offerings. People from home on the other hand, do the final cleaning of Buddha imaged with the use of a scented water.

April 15, the fourth and final day of the festival is also called as the Wan Parg-bpee. Homage is made during this day wherein locals paid to ancestors, elders, and other person that deserves the respect because of their age of position. This is also called as the 'Rohd Nam Songkran', which means "The Pouring of Songkran Water". While sprinkling water to the elderly, wishes of good luck are also uttered.

People in Chiang Mai during this day are celebrating the final day of celebration and are throwing water with each other. Residents of Chiang Mai on this day are dedicated to have some fun.

Having able to join with the Thailand local residents in celebrating the Songkran Festival will surely be a memorable experience for you. Songkran is one of the festivals in Thailand that you should not miss because of its abundant religious and fun activities, and it only happens in Thailand. Other places might have their own festivals as well but will be very different from Songkran. If you want to experience the Songkran Festival, plan ahead, reserve your accommodations and festival tour early so that when the day of the festival comes, you won't be having any problems with hotel reservations and festival tour packages, because for sure, many of the tourists will be coming to Thailand to witness the Songkran Festival.

The author is a certified Traveler to different places in this world. He has already been to Asia, USA, Europe and more. He fell in-love with all the places he had been and decided to document it into writing and finally decided to let everybody know how wonderful every place he had visited.

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