We have long holidays since 13th to 19th April for "Songkran Festival" or know as Thai New Year. The companies are closed and let their staff going back to home town for visiting their parents. (14th April is Famaily Day)
What is Songkran ?
Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival since the former time. It is a celebration that embraces goodwill, love, compassion, and thankfulness, using water as the means of expression.
The word Songkran derives from Sanskrit meaning to move or step forward. The first day of Songkran takes place when the sun moves from Pisces into Aries, which marks the New Year's Day according to the Brahmin solar system.
The festival of Songkran falls on the 13th, 14th, and 15 th of April every year. The first day is known as Maha Songkran or the grand Songkran. The Thai government has declared Songkran festival as extended public holidays to enable the people to return to their hometown for family reunions, merit-making and reuniting with others in their community.
April 13 th is also declared the Day of the Senior or Elderly by the government. The occasion marks the appreciation for the senior population for their years of contribution to the family and country.
The 14 th of April is designated as Family Day to celebrate family love and togetherness.
The importance of Songkran Festival
Songkran is regarded as one of the most important traditions in Thailand because it encompasses the three major values in the Thai way of life which are:
Value of family: Songkran is the time when family members come together to show appreciation, love and respect as well as making merit and paying homage to their ancestors.
Value of society: Through active participation and interaction with each other, Songkran brings the people in the community together to enhance goodwill and unity in the society.
Value of religion: Making merit by offering food to monks, going to the temples and attending Buddhist sermons are auspicious activities done during Songkran .
Who is Nang Songkran ?
In the old days, when mass communications was somewhat limited, in order to help the illiterate learn on which day of the week Songkran was, a story on the origin of Nang Songkran was created . It was said that Tao Kabilaprom had seven daughters, known collectively as Nang Songkran . In a gambling game that he lost to Thammakumarn, Tao Kabilaprom had to pay his debt with his head. However, his head must not come into contact with the ground, air or water because it would cause catastrophes. To maintain peace on earth, his head was placed on a tray which was then taken to Krailad Mountain . Every year, one of the daughters would bring the head down to town for procession. Each daughter was unique in her own way and was identified by her ornaments, choice of weapons and means of transport symbolised by animals. Since there were seven daughters, they also served as fairy for each day of the week. The names of the seven Nang Songkran for each day are:
Sunday Tung-sa, Garuda
Monday Ko-ra-ka, Tiger
Tuesday Rak-so, Pig
Wednesday Mon-ta, Donkey
Thursday Kiri-nee, Elephant
Friday Kimi-ta, Buffalo
Saturday Maho-torn, Peacock
Nang Songkran not only represents the day of the week, but back then people often associated her characteristics to the type of weather they could expect for that year, too.
Thank you pictures from Internet :)
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