The Songkran festival (Thai: สงกรานต์, Khmer: សង្រ្កាន្ត; from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, or literally "astrological passage")is celebrated in Thailandas the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15April. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of Southand SoutheastAsia.
The date of the festival was originally set byastrological calculation, but itis now fixed. If these days fall ona weekend, the missed days offare taken on the weekdays immediately following. If they fall in the middle of the week, many Thai take off from the previous Friday until the following Monday. Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand,at the end of the dry season. Until 1888 the Thai New Year was the beginning of the year in Thailand; thereafter 1April was used until 1940. 1 Januaryis now the beginning of the year. The traditional Thai New Year has beena national holiday since then.
Songkran has traditionally been celebratedas the New Year for many centuries,andis believed to have beenadapted froman
Besides the throwing of water, people celebrating Songkranasa
Some people make New Year resolutions - to refrain from bad behavior, or to do good things. Songkranis a time for cleaningand renewal. Besides washing household Buddha images, many Thais also take this opportunity to give their homea thorough cleaning.
Nowadays, the emphasis is on funand water-throwing rather than on the festival's spiritualand religiousaspects, which sometimes prompts complaints from traditionalists. In recent years there have been calls to moderate the festival to lessen the manyalcohol-related roadaccidentsas wellas injuriesattributed to extreme behavior suchas water being thrown in the faces of traveling motorcyclists.
The wateris meantasa symbol of washingall of the badawayandis sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner.
Songkranis also celebrated in many places witha pageant in which young women demonstrate their beautyand unique talents,as judged by theaudience. The level of financial support usually determines the winner, since, to show your support you must purchase necklaces which you place on your chosen girl.
Thereis a similar named Indian Festival calledas Sankrant or Makar Sankranti
However, most people use "สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์" (suk-san wan songkran) — meaning "Happy Songkran Day" — since pi mai is more often linked with the first of January. Suksanis also usedasanattribute for other days suchas Valentine's Day ("สุขสันต์วันแห่งความรัก" suk-san wan haeng khwam rak; Happy Valentine's Day).
The traditional new year celebration in Sri Lankaalso coincides with the Thai new year.
In Nepal, the official new yearis celebrated on the 1st of Baisakh(Baisākh)according toastrological calendar Vikram Samwatand day often falls somewhere between 12-15April.
It occursat the same timeas that given by Bede for festivals of Eostre—and Easterweekend occasionally coincides with Songkran (most recently 1979, 1990,and 2001, but notagain until 2085).