As the weekend approaches, people across the world are preparing for Songkran, a Thai New Year celebration. Why is this significant for the Taste Nirvana team? Not only is Thailand the place where our delicious coconut water is harvested, it’s where the Taste Nirvana story began! Our company is made up of three generations of a Thai family. Any chance we get to celebrate a Thai holiday, we take it! And we want to share the celebration with you; that’s why we’ve put together everything you need to know about Songkran.
When Is Songkran?
Songkran takes place on April 13th. The celebration can continue for a few days after, typically ending on April 15th.
What Does Songkran Mean?
The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti which means “astrological passage”. Thus, Songkran is a celebration of transformation. (1)
How Is Songkran Celebrated?
Songkran is celebrated around the world and is rich with traditions. Mornings begin with visitation to local temples. The ritual of water-pouring on Buddha statues, the young, and the elderly often occurs at this time. This is in significance of purification and the washing away of bad luck. Paying reverence to ancestors is a Songkran tradition, thus people who have moved away often return home to unite with their loved ones and visit local temples. (2)
Possibly the most known tradition, thousands of young and old come together to participate in a smile-and-laughter-filled water festival. Most streets are closed to traffic for water fights and tradition parades where, in some locations, “Miss Songkran” is crowned. Songkran water fights draw in crowds of people wanting to participate in the water-filled fun! The heat of the weather during this time in Thailand makes it the perfect time to joyfully spray hoses and splash buckets of cooling water on everyone.
Other Songkran Observances
The principles of Songkran are observed differently per region and country. In Central Thailand, people clean their homes in preparation for the holiday. Dressed in colorful clothing and traditional Thai dress, people offer food to the monks and honor their ancestors. In the North, the first day of Songkran is celebrated with firecrackers or gunshots to ward off bad luck. People prepare food for the monks and pour water on the hands of their elders, asking for blessings and good luck.(3) Aside from a celebration of transformation and cleansing, the holiday is an important celebration for the country’s agricultural industry because it marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of rain.
If you find yourself in Thailand during April, this transformational and enlightening holiday is an experience you don’t want to miss out on. And if not, grab a cool glass of coconut water to celebrate from wherever you are in the world.
Happy Thai New Year from Taste Nirvana!