#ritualsoftheworld

Songkran – the unique & colorful water festival

According to the Thai lunar calendar, Songkran is the traditional New Year’s festival and takes place at the same time each year in April.
Traditionally, the old worries and misfortunes from the previous year are washed away and the bygone year is symbolically purified with water and discarded in order to greet the New Year.

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Even the elephants “celebrate” the “Songkran”.

Beginning on April 13 the entire country of Thailand is celebrating the Songkran New Year’s festival. It signifies the beginning of a new solar year – but also that the sun is entering a new sign of the zodiac. The word Songkran originates from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.

Renewal and cleansing

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Traditional ritual: Buddha statues are drenched with water in order to “purify” them.

From a traditional point of view, Songkran is a time of renewal and cleansing and with this traditional idea in mind, people thoroughly clean out their houses and apartments on the evening of April 12. The next morning, families go to their local temple and bring offerings of fruits, rice, and other foods. Not only the Buddha statues, but also the heads of the temples are drenched with water in order to “purify” them. Apart from that, people often build little chedis or tapered towers made of sand in the temple courtyards. The festival then finds its way onto the streets, where thousands of people joyfully engage in a water battle.

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Bangkok: Thousands of people joyfully engage in a water battle.

Meanwhile, not only the locals enjoy this custom. What began as a Thai purification ceremony has become a water festival that is well known throughout the world.

“Rituals of the world – Rituals of time”

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