Songkran Festival/Celebration of Thai New Year on April 23, 2017
You are cordially invited to participate in the fun celebration of Thai New Year or traditionally know as Songkran or Water-splashing Festival that will be held at our temple on Sunday, April 23, 2017 starting at 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The programs of this event consist of paying tribute to the Triple Gem, chanting, meditating, alms-offering, raising donation, listening to a Dharma talk about the festival, watering the Buddha Images and monks, watering the elders for blessing, and serving Thai food for charity. Your participation in religious services is free of charge, except the Thai food booth will be served with a little charge for your charity. If you want to have fun with splashing water and tasting Thai food, you are welcome to join us, and more specially to help preserve the beauty of Thai culture.
The Songkran Festival is one of Thailand’s grandest and most important events. It is a time when family and friends gather to pay gratitude to elders and visit temples for prayer and offering.
The Songkran Festival is an amazing event in Thailand which is used to welcome the New Year. During this period, you’ll enjoy fun-filled local entertainments and fun. Depending on the area within the country, the celebration can last between 3 to 10 days.
The celebration of this festival involves merit-making, paying tribute to the Triple Gem, presenting offerings to monks, watering the Buddha images and monks for blessing, releasing birds and fishes into river to give life to the caught animals in order to gain a long life, paying respect to elders to express gratefulness, building sand pagodas to cultivate merit, listening to a sermon, and, more importantly, splashing of water to cool each other, especially during the hot April in Thailand. This is believed to bring longevity, good health and prosperity. Songkran stands to be the most popular festival of Thailand that marks the beginning of the new solar year and the start of the summer season as well.
Benefits of Songkran Festival
- Reunion of Family members
- Expression of gratefulness to parents and elders
- Relief of loneliness of senior citizens
- Review of living in the past year
- Improvement of quality of life by doing meritorious deeds
- Relaxation and enjoyment of life after long-term working
Information about Songkran Festival retrieved from Wikipedia:
Songkran (Thai: เทศกาลสงกรานต์, pronounced [tʰêːt.sā.kāːn sǒŋ.krāːn]) is the Thai New Year’s festival. The Thai New Year’s Day is 13 April every year, but the holiday period includes 14–15 April as well. The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti (Devanāgarī: संक्रांति), literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change. The term was borrowed from Makar Sankranti, the name of a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in India in January to mark the arrival of spring. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart, the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.
The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. Mornings begin with merit-making. Visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks is commonly practiced. On this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and elders. As a way to show respect, younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands. Paying reverence to ancestors is also an important part of Songkran tradition.
The holiday is known for its water festival which is mostly celebrated by young people. Major streets are closed for traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. Celebrants, young and old, participate in this tradition by splashing water on each other. Traditional parades are held and in some venues “Miss Songkran” is crowned.” where contestants are clothed in traditional Thai dress.