The Songkran festival is a traditional New Year’s day in Thailand. Here is what to know about the 2022 edition and what to expect.
History of the Songkran
Songkran is a Sanskrit word, which translates to the passing of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. The festival is also referred to as the Water Splashing Festival. There are usually twelve Songkrans each year, but the major one which is celebrated in April is when the sun passes from the sign of the Ram to Aries. The celebrations last up to a week, with celebrations such as water fights and religious ceremonies being the trademark. Water is considered in Buddhism as a symbol of renewal and is splashed on statues of Buddha as a sign of good luck. Younger generations also seek blessing from the elderly by bathing in their hands.
What to expect at Songkran 2022
Songkran is celebrated from 13 April–to 15 April each year. An official opening ceremony is held in the big cities, and the holiday is extended for 5-10 in some places. During this year’s event, however, those attending the holiday in Bangkok will be prohibited from celebrations such as powder smearing, foam parties, water splashing and alcohol at events because of the Covid pandemic.
Why is the New year Celebrated in April?
Thais originally migrated from Southern China in around 200BC. While their calendar was lunar, they had to adapt to the different climatic conditions they encountered in their new home. This prompted them to switch to April as their new year, since it coincided with the end of the dry season.