The Songkran Festival is one of the most important feasts that has been performed not only in Thailand but also in other countries ( Laos, Cambodia, etc .) for a long time . It is also known as Thai Traditional New Year Day which falls on April 13 – 15 in a year . It is the great opportunity for merit - making and a special time for Thai people to have fun, traditional music, dance, games, and other activities in the pastime .
The Meaning Of Songkran Festival
Theterm Songkran means The festival celebrated on the day of passage of thesun to Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac 1 . It means that on Songkran Day the sun enter the sign of Aires. Its full name is called Maha Songkran which means the great Songkran .
The Origins Of Songkran Festival
There was an interesting Thai folk story connected with the Songkran Day . It tells now there once lived in a certain village a extraordinary boy by the name of Dhanapala . He was born into a very rich family, and was extremely intelligent and kindhearted . He even knew the languages of animals and could understand the humming of bees and the songs of the birds .
People had great respect for him and his fame spread far and wide until it finally reached the ears of a rather strange but powerful God . This was Kapila Brahma, the god with the four faces, who could see four directions all at once . Kapila was a conceited god . He could not bear to think that there was anyone so intelligent and kind as to command the respect of so many people . He felt that people had begun to place more faith in Dhanapala than in himself
The Activities On Songkran Festival
In the morning, people go to the temple to make merits by offering food to monks and novices, observing the precepts, Five or Eight precepts and listening to the Dhamma talk . In the afternoon, they perform the bathing ceremony of the Buddha images and monks and novices who live in a temple . During this time, the younger people ask blessings from the elders . This is known as Water Splashing Feast . It might be said that the Songkran festival is the Respected festival to the elders or the Family Day .
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Dictionary of Buddhism, Phra Dhamapitaka . See the word Songkran , page 349.