Songkhran – The Water Festival

The important part of Songkhran festival is to celebration and pay respect to the elders. Songkran or the water fest is celebrated in Thailand from April 13 to 15 and is a much awaited event for the Thais.Woon said it was also the only time those working in the cities and outskirts of the country make their way back home to celebrate the festival with their families.

Many countries have a water-splashing festival. From India to Sri Lanka to Myanmar and Cambodia, people gather together to give thanks for the return of the rain which will help them grow their rice and keep their families fed and healthy.

This also known as the Thai New Year, started off with the young paying respect to the elders at home and asking for forgiveness from them in a ceremony named Rod Nam Dam Hua.

Cool time: Revellers splashing and spraying water on one another at the Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist temple to mark Songkran.At the ceremony, the young would not only kneel and explain their wrongdoings the previous year to the elders but would also wash the feet and hands of the elderly, usually their parents or grandparents, with Thai scented water.

“The first day, everyone in the family usually gather at an elder person’s home, ask for forgiveness and conduct prayers and also pay respect to their ancestors.

“Those who have smaller families sometimes opt to hold such ceremonies in temples, hence during this day, temples in Thailand are usually packed with devotees,” said Woon.

On the second day, the celebration continues to revolve around family members where Thais would prepare a feast at home.

The younger generation usually would look forward to the third day, as it was the day that families get to go out to visit friends but the young made it a water throwing day.Woon said it started off with just a cup full of scented water which had been used during the cleansing of Buddha ceremony in temples.However, over the years, he said the young began splashing the water on one another and it soon became a water-splashing festival that caught on even among the foreigners.

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