The Cleansing Celebration of Songkran

The Cleansing Celebration of Songkran

Songkran is one of Thailand’s largest and most fun-filled celebrations, and Summer Estate Villa is the perfect location to enjoy it all. As a private pool villa located on Natai beach in Phang Nga Thailand, guests can enjoy a more intimate and luxurious Songkran experience. During the festival, the streets of Thailand come alive with a vibrant energy as locals engage in a widespread water fight. At Summer Estate Villa, guests can stay dry and relax in the comfort of their own private pool. This celebration is a time for being with family and loved ones, and guests at Summer Estate Villa can create unforgettable memories together. In this article, we will cover the history and traditions of the Songkran festival as well as what to expect and popular locations to celebrate this magical celebration in and around Summer Estate Villa on Natai beach in Phang Nga Thailand.

The History of Songkran

The word Songkran is from the Sanskrit word saṅkrānti which can mean “astrological passage“ or “passing of the sun” or simply “movement”. This movement refers to the sun’s movement from one position to another on the zodiac calendar and coincides with the vernal equinox when the sun is directly above the equator. This period is celebrated as the Thai New Year is a culturally important period of cleansing, renewal, and new beginnings. This cleansing festival is celebrated by water throwing to symbolize purification, washing away bad luck and negative spirits. The dates on which this significant holiday takes place are over a three-day period from April 13th to the 15th.

The origins of Songkran find their roots in ancient Hindu beliefs and traditions. In the times of Hindu antiquity, it was believed that the sun’s position at the time of the vernal equinox had a crucial impact on the fortunes of people and the agricultural cycle. Originally celebrated in the Indian subcontinent, this holiday has since spread throughout southeast Asia along with the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism. As these religions spread throughout southeast Asia, many of the ancient beliefs and traditions were adopted and adapted to local cultures.

The history of Songkran in Thailand dates back to the 13th century during the Sukhothai period. Originally this was a time for Thais to participate in religious ceremonies and pay respects to their elders. From the 14th to 18th century, during the Ayutthaya period, this festival evolved into a major holiday. Traditionally, Songkran was a festival celebrated in Thailand with visits to temples and pouring scented water over images and statues of Buddha to represent purification and blessings.

During the late 19th century the Songkran festival transformed into an important time for visiting family and social gatherings, leading Songkran to become a national holiday. It was king Rama V who established this festival as a three-day holiday, allowing people within the kingdom the time to travel so that they may celebrate with loved ones and family.

The first day of Songkran falls on April 13th and is known as “Maha Songkran”. Traditionally on this day, people would rise early in the morning to participate in religious ceremonies, making merit, and offering food and alms to monks. Water is poured and thrown on this day to represent purification and cleansing. Many traditional marks this festival of purification by cleaning their homes, and reconciling with family and friends.

April 14th is the second day of Songkran, which is referred to as “Wan Nao”. On this day Thais traditionally avoid speaking negatively and dedicate this day to spending time with family. This also demonstrated the idea of purification as people let go of the past and welcome positivity into the new year.

The third day of Songkran is April 15th and is known as “Wan Thaloeng Sok”. This day traditionally saw the most water throwing during the festival. Water-throwing was a symbol of purification and cleansing. These cleansing waters were meant to wash away bad luck, and past misfortunes in an effort to bring about good fortune for the new year.

Songkran Today 

Presently The Songkran Festival currently retains many of its traditions. The festival is still a time for visiting loved ones and paying respects to elders and participating in religious ceremonies. The water-throwing is still a central aspect of the holiday, as people will often take to the streets with water guns, buckets,s and hoses to douse one another with.

Songkran is a vibrant festival with not only water-throwing but many other activities and ceremonies. Many people engage in serval activities during Songkran such as parades, beauty pageants, traditional games and sports, and cultural performances.

One should also keep in mind that Songkran is a major holiday in Thailand. During this time many government offices and businesses will be shut for the holiday.

Popular destinations for Songkran

Songkran is celebrated throughout Thailand with widespread water throwing and water fights. This holiday is popular with both Thai and foreigners visiting the Kingdom. Some of the biggest celebrations are found in urban areas such as Bangkok, Chaing Mai, and Phuket.

Chaing Mai: One of the most popular destinations for Songkran in Thailand is the old city of Chaing Mai. Chaing Mai participates in this festival by throwing water throughout the holiday period. Elephants are also used in Chain Mai to spray revelers with their massive trunks. Another unique aspect of celebrating in Chain Mai is the “Moat Party” which as Thais and tourists gather along the moat surrounding the city of Chaing Mai to throw water and take part in traditional activities.

 Bangkok: Thailand’s capital city there are many popular places to celebrate Songkran. Silom Road, Siam Square, Ratchada Road, and Khao San Road are some of the more popular areas to celebrate. Out of these locations, Khao San Road is probably the most popular destination to celebrate in Bangkok. Khao San Road hosts and wide range of activities, street vendors, and music creating a lively atmosphere.

Phuket: Songkran is celebrated widely throughout the island of Phuket. Phuket’s Old Town is very popular with locals and tourists. You’ll find street vendors and water fights throughout the streets of Old Town. If you are looking for an even livelier area in Phuket, you can celebrate on the streets of Patong. Patong is the party city on the island, hosting many entertainment establishments and night club along Bangla Road. One should keep in mind that in Phuket the water throwing is largely active for only one day of the holiday period.

Celebrate at Summer Estate 

If you a looking to keep your Songkran celebration intimate and with close friends and family, you should consider celebrating at a private pool villa. Summer Estate offers an expansive lawn and oversized pool for activities and water fights. There are many temples in the surrounding areas to celebrate in a traditional manner. Nearby Phuket and Khao Lak offer up lively locations for a more celebratory atmosphere. Songkran is a very active holiday and there is no place better to unwind after a large celebration than at a private pool villa on Natai Beach with Summer Estate Villa