This Wednesday will see 500 monks take part in a Traditional celebration of the Thai Songkran Festival.The monks will be at Wat Mongkol Bophit from approximately 6 am.
Songkran, or Thai New Year, is a Buddhist festival and the kingdom’s most important public holiday. The word Songkran is derived from Sanskrit and means “Astrological Passage”. Traditionally, the dates for the festival were set by Brahmin priests, but these days the dates are fixed.
Songkran marks the end of the dry season – April is Thailand’s hottest month – and the beginning of the annual rains in the fifth month of the Thai lunar year. Many Thais visit their local temple to pray and to wash their Buddha icons. Buddhist statues on house shrines are also cleaned. This cleansing ritual is to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year.
In northern Thailand, Buddhists bring small bags of sand to the temple, returning the dust they have carried away in the past year on their bare feet. This sand is then sculpted into small stupas and decorated with flags in honour of the Buddha.
As Songkran is also the longest public holiday in Thailand, it’s an opportunity for up-country people to return home from Bangkok, and the Thai capital is remarkably quiet during the holidays, its infamously chaotic traffic calmed for a few days.
Nowadays, the throwing of water is the festival’s highlight. In fact, for three days virtually the entire country turns into a celebratory war zone. Children with huge water guns roam the streets or sit in the back of their parents’ pick-up trucks, which are loaded with buckets of water that is dispensed on anyone who happens to be within reach.
If getting soaked by Elephants is more your thing, probably Thailand’s most unique Songkran celebration, this involves elephants and takes place in front of TAT Ayutthaya Office.This is situated on Si Sanphet road.
Sources ( Wikipedia and The Telegraph )
When : Wednesday the 13th of April.
Where : Si Sanphet Road in Ayutthaya,near Wat Mongkol Bophit.
Time : All day