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Happy Songkran Day

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Natchaya Natchaya | 06:26 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

The situation in Thailand is so terrible and I am waiting for the end of this story. Here at my city is far from Bangkok 2 hours. I have to say sorry for everyone who passed away from this violent situation. Just big dog bites each other. Hope they think about the others not only themselves. Put down the real gun to plastic one with water.

The announcer at the well-known channel had worked her duty. Violent news from the speakers told what situation is. Leaving the eyes from serious situation, people were preparing the celebration of the water festival that coming in the day after.


Songkran Day was our Thai New Year on 13th April of every year. The festival was the simile of zodiac moving. The Aries to Pisces. We used water in the meaning of solving the hot season. At the meanwhile that the sun moved into Aries, the water was poured to the others. Its meaning was to give the others delighted. The old people gave a wish to children. The more you wet the more you rich (wealth). Sonkran Day was a family day, people who worked in a big city back to their hometown, to see their family again. Family was important for us.

From the pass, we used the normal temperature water with flower and scents (perfumes made by Thai formulas) then put in a small bowl ('Kan' is called by Thai word. To bail water out from water container.) We used perfumed/ children powder to put on the cheek. We poured a few water and used powder. Just for making people get less hot from summer.

Now a day Thais and International tourists jointed us with the plastic water gun. If you were here you would see many Thais on the behind of a pick-up with a big plastic bucket were set and people ready stand by. Then we were going around on the road, fighting with the other by water. Water festival became water war. That was better than the real war.

Whatever, the weather here could melt our breath. What my family did in every year?

For us, we woke up in the morning then went to temple and made a wish with Buddha image. Many Thais came here at the same idea of me, make a wish and listened the teaching of Buddha. We were wishing to have a good life, wealth and health. My city was not having a big celebrate because we were waiting for Wan-Lai at the 19th after. Pouring water to the Buddha image on the 14th of April (somebody made this thing on the other days within 13th , we were late one day) was meaning to give us happiness. Water was pouring on the metal liked the image was made from a gold. In the same time, to pour the water on the Buddha image was to clean the image. The dust was cleaned. When our home was clean, it brought the happiness to family members. Though I was not a millionaire but I was happy with the simple life. I was wishing you all happy and had a good life.

Do and Don't on the water festival

  • Do Wai (make a respect to parent or older family member) and thank you them for their help firstly.

  • Do go to temple, bringing the favorable thing to yourselves and family (to think of the others when you get the happiness.)

  • Do pour the water properly; you are in the water festival not the World War II. Do not put the gun to the head.

  • Do use Din Sor Pong (natural talc) with people just a little. People prefer p This Din Sor Pong can be the beginning of relationship between man and woman. The man should use just a little otherwise woman who you interested will be a Japanese doll before you see her beautiful face. Powder gently at both cheeks. Do not powder the eyes, or improper place. In the polite way, please ask before powder and say 'Sawaddee-Pee -Mai Krab(M)/Ka(F)' (Happy New Year.)

  • Do check a piece of ice in your bucket. Somebody aims to see the other enjoy and happy with cool water so, they put a piece of ice into the bucket to cold the water (Normally we do not use). Make people cool down from the summer, don't freeze the others. Do not use a big piece of ice otherwise people can be getting hurt.

  • Do use clean water only. I think you know the reason. Though, we cannot check the root of river. Do not ask people who pour on you.

  • Do not use a simple sun block protection, please use the strongest sun block otherwise you will change to be a red lobster.

  • Do wear the simple as short pants and dwindling upper-body shirt. Do not wear a thick suit, it becomes a stone when it wet. Anyway, if you really do not want to wet, wear the formal dress code then make your hair as you go to the gala dinner, though you are going to 7-11 (convenient store). People will shock and surprise with that style in Songkran Day. Do not wear only underwear. It does not proper.

  • Do not bait the fish by lure. Though you have a helmet, raincoat, or bathing cap; remember that it is not a good assistant. When people see you, you will wet at the first second you walk out of the door.

  • Do say 'Yes' , and final the sentence with 'But just a little'. They will let you have alive until tomorrow. Do not say 'No' at the first place you see water gun. Unable to catch you say No, the water is pouring down on your body immediately.

  • Do not drink Alcohol until you drunk for you have to concentrate with the water plastic gun and your aim. Actually, you will get high temperature easily and make more problems after.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hello, Lyn.

    I had never heard about the Songkran Day. Thank you for having explained about it and given good advice.

    I remember once when there was a group paddling down a river. We all became wet, because we were not skilled enough, most of us. But there was one girl whose canoe had not turned and made her wet, and then the other pushed her canoe so that it turned around as well. I think it was stupid to make her wet, it was clearly against her will.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi , Lyn Happy new year ! Thank you for all info about your new year . The pouring water ceremony sound too funny and interesting ! I wish you and your family a happy and successful year .
    see you around
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 3.

    Hello, Lyn

    9 Years ago, we(me and my wife) went to your city as a Honeymoon travel. At that time, we experienced the Water Festival, Sonkran Day hapilly. Everyone in Tailand come back to their hometown and eat traditional food together and play with plastic water gun.

    Until now, I still wonder some points.

    Why call Songkran Day is New Year Festival? How do you calculate the year cycle?

    Yours Oh

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi, Natchaya
    I'm Lawan, Thai student living in US. I heard about politic and don't want Thai people being like this. Anyway nice to hear about Songkran Festival from you. It makes me miss home very much. It's our good tradition that i am so pround with it. Here, Thai people living in Carolina also had Songkran festival. It's more like pot luck party.
    Anyway hope you had a good long weekend.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Lyn,

    I enjoyed reading about Songkran. I never heard about your New Year celebration before but your detailed explanation has given me an insight into your New Year celebration. Now I will be able to talk confidently about Songkran if the issue ever arise. I find it fascinating when I meet people from other societies and they talk to me about my traditions. My interest for other cultures developed because of living in the UK and using the bbc website from time to time. Let me tell something funny. Before moving to UK, I thought people in other countries would have the same traditions as me but I was surprised of the differences between the two cultures. Through this networking I have learnt quite a lot about other cultures and still learning.

    Take care


  • Comment number 6.

    Good Morning, Natchaya.
    I enjoy reading your posting, about the Songkran Day, I remember I have this type of celebration with water in my native country peru, but this celebration is hold in February(Carnavales or carnivals), and just have fun, the people usually play with water(sometimes I don't liked, because they use water with colorants and that part I didn't enjoy at all). I agree with your list of things that are allowed and the things that no one should do it.
    Thank you again for your interesting post, and I waiting for the next one.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Comment number 7.

    Dear Lyn,
    Happy New Year.
    We, in Bangladesh, also celebrate 14th April as 'Pahela Baishakh' (first day of the Bengali year). We did the same this year also with new hopes, aspirations and joy. People from all corners around the country celebrated the day. We organized colourful processions, fairs and cultural programmes in cities and towns. The central attraction of Pahela Baishakh was the cultural programme at Ramna Batamul in Dhaka, the capital city that started at the crack of dawn as it has for 40 years now. Like every year, the musical programme included devotional and patriotic songs. Moreover, the Fine Art Institute of Dhaka University brought out a colourful procession with floats designed after birds and animals. Traditional Baishakhi fairs were also organised in many places by different organizations. As it's a government holiday all the people come out of their home and celebrate the day with joy.
    The indegineous people living in Chittagong Hill Tracts celebrate it in quite different way. It is the most important ritual for them.
    The Buddhist also in our country do the same as you do. They clean the Buddha image with milk or with the sweet water of coconut. The buddhist monk leads this activity in the temple. They all go to the temple, make their prayer. Many of them abide by the 'Osthosheel' (eight basic rules for the Buddhist) and pray for all the creatures over the globe. They arrange traditional foods to celebrate the day, distribute to the poor, beggar and pray 'Sobbe Sotta Shukhita Bhobontu' (All the creatures of the world rest in peace).
    Ashish, Bangladesh


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