Sunday, March 31, 2013
Water welcomes the New Year
It’s time to think about celebrating New Years – not in nine months from now but 13 days from now. April 13 is the first day of Thailand’s traditional New Years festival Songkran. While Thailand also counts January 1 as the start of a new year it doesn’t diminish the importance of Songkran.
The rituals that are part of contemporary celebration date back to pre-Buddhist times when the focus was the hope for good crops for the new year. Then and now water was thrown a symbol of good luck. Originally the good luck wished for was for rain to insure a good harvest. Over time the water also became symbol of washing away all that was bad so the year would be good.
A visitor to Thailand who associates a new year celebration with laughter and champagne may find it surprising to see crowds of people happily throwing water at each other . http://www.theworldevents.com/songkran-festival-2013/
Discovering this holiday reminds me once again that a little research before a trip - whether business or pleasure - should include a search for holidays that occur during our stay. A handy site is bank-holiday.com. Will the people you need to meet with be in their office or on holiday? Will you find yourself in the midst of a parade, marching along or drenched with water?