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 luckOriginally 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 .

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  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?

No comments: