Happy Thai New Year from DEPDC/GMS!

Noted as the hottest month of the year, April in Thailand has lots of excitement to bring – but also relief against the reigning heat of the sun! Mid-April is the time of year when the Songkran Festival is celebrated across all of Thailand for the beginning of the Thai New Year. The word Songkran,’ which is derived from the Sanskrit language, literally means ‘to pass’ or ‘to move into.’

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Splashing water for good luck !

The most obvious celebration for Songkran is the throwing of water, which turns into a big water fight where no one is left dry. Throughout the festival, water is splashed in all directions to cleanse people of their bad luck and to wish each other good luck in the New Year. There are so many places to celebrate Songkran such as rivers, canals, and even on streets where there are supplies of water everywhere – including buckets of ice and hoses!

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Local river turned into a giant swimming pool during Songkran in Chiang Rai province.

Moreover, Songkran is traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, monks, friends and neighbours. It is also a time to take the opportunity to worship and clean Buddha images, to visit temples and hope for good karma for the upcoming year. If you would like to know more about Songkran traditional history, you can read the official Songkran website page here.

This year, the festival started from the 13th of April. In theory, the festival lasts for three days, but festivities go on a few days before and after the official dates of Songkran.  All of  the DEPDC/GMS family has been enjoying the Thai New Year festivities. The staff and students were away with their families, friends and communities enjoying the holiday. We hope that you all had a great Songkran holiday and we wish you the best of luck for this year: Sawadee Pee Mai Muang 2014 – Happy New Year Thailand 2014!

 

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Festivities for Songkran at dusk, Mae Sai District.
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