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Thai New Year and the water party
Although the most common of the new years is Chinese, in Thailand they also celebrate their own with a party called Songkran. The indicated date is April 13, although the celebrations are prolonged during the following two days.
This date is able to bind traditions such as the Buddhist New Year with the popular water festival. It is probably the most important celebration in Thailand and is considered the national holiday, hence many tourists take advantage of these dates to make their trip to one of the most interesting places in Thailand.
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What is the water festival in Thailand?
Beyond the Thai traditions, in recent years the custom of getting involved as much as possible in a water war that can be seen in the streets, without any kind of risk, has gained strength. The only thing that to fully enjoy is recommended to buy some water pistols since everyone will want to soak you.
It should be borne in mind that in Thailand coexist many ethnic groups and even tribes, so this is the perfect occasion to see that melting pot of cultures so characteristic of the country celebrating a common holiday, the songkran.
The term "songkran" comes etymologically from Sanskrit and its meaning is "transformation" or "change". It refers to the zodiacal signs with the arrival of the new year, and with this street celebration we find the contrast between the suffocating heat typical of these dates and the coolness of the water, which always has sacred connotations if we combine it with Buddha, as we will explain later.
This party is also known as the Songkran Water Festival, a proof that Thai institutions have wanted to make the most of this party, around which real marketing campaigns are created to attract domestic and foreign tourists on a special occasion.
Logically, those who have a hose are the best prepared, although there have been years in which the drought has not allowed to spend 100%. As you can imagine, the Thai heat is not always easy to combat, so water becomes the best ally on this date.
What is the origin of this tradition of water?
In the past, water was thrown at Buddha figures with the aim of blessing it and then drunk or used to show respect to the elderly, another important episode during the songkran. It is clear that that more religious sense has been lost to become a true explosion of joy where in addition one can be refreshed against the sticky heat of the area.
Despite remaining faithful to many of its traditions, Thailand is an increasingly westernised country, so it is no longer surprising to find alternative activities, such as a Miss Songkran contest or, of course, sharing everything on social networks.
This type of celebration is not unique to Thailand, but we can also find similar celebrations in countries such as Burma, Laos or Cambodia. Without a doubt, one more proof that the Thai world does not stop surprising us...
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