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2023-10-01 13:02

NOTE: This article was handed out to visitors for the Songkarn celebration in Bangkok, Thailand.

Songkran means "movement" or "changing" since according to Thai astrology, the sun will move into a new sign of the Zodiac on this day. Songkran is also known as the "Water Festival" and/or "Thai New Year".  Water is believed to flow and wash away all the bad omens during this time. Thus it is a time for cleaning houses, villages, temples and spirit houses.

In the Thai tradition, the New Year begins early in the morning when the faithful Thai Buddhist give alms to the Buddhist monks.  After that, they release caged animals, especially birds and fish.  Elders and parents will be visited and respected by their children and grand childern. The young pour scented water over their elder's hands, they in return, wish good health, happiness, and prosperity. The tradition of paying respect is called "Rod Nam Dam Hua". Songkran Day is also called "Family Day.

In the afternoon, Thai Buddhist sprinkle scented water on Buddha images. After that, they sprinkle perfumed water on, or throw clean Cold water on each other. Songkarn is observed with excitement in the North, especially in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

A lot of people from around the country will head up north to participate in the festivals organized there. A Miss Songkran Festival will be held and a long and beautiful parade will be organized.

In Bangkok, a Buddha image is brought out from the National Museum for people to sprinkle lustral wat at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace. Anyone who goes out on the street is likely to get a thorough soaking. People believe that water will wash away bad luck, and splashing water over friends or anyone will give them a New Year blessing.

Editors Notes: Songkran is celebrated throughout Thailand. Also, as part of the celebration at Wat Tampa you will also see people with a wet talcum powder on their faces. You will hear people saying "Sawatdi Be Mai" - Hello New Year.

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