Dear Co-Workers and Students,
This week I want to talk about my Songkran Festival experience in Thailand.
I was kind of a newbie in Thailand when I witnessed my first and the only Songkran Festival. Before the festival have begun, I had collected some informations about it.
But I can easily say that they were very basic informations. All I know that people throw water to each other as much as they can during all festival. But after a while, my opinions started to change and I began to realize the main traditions and purposes of this fun and meaningful festival.
During the festival, I was living in Pattaya. I thought the festival would take place for three or four days but then I saw that this festival would not last before ten days in Pattaya.
In the first days, I was trying to avoid going out and walking on the streets for not getting all wet. But in the end, I had to go out and thanks to cheerful and excited Thai people, I had been thrown water at least twenty times just in one hour. First, I felt a little uneasy but after getting used to it, I even enjoyed that.
As the festival days went by, I learned that Songkran is a Public Spring Cleaning Day. I was told that Thai people beleive that anything old and useless must be thrown away or it will bring bad luck to the owner.
In the middle days of the festivals, I have visited a Thai family with my friends. And I saw that the children of the family kneeled down before their parents and paid their respects to them. And they also apologized for their mistakes.
After that, the parents sprinkled water to the children over their hands. After seeing this tradition, I understood the deep meaning of this festival once more again.
This festival means not only a lot of fun for Thai people, but it also includes their reasonable beliefs for renewing their stuff every year and showing great respect to their family.
As a result I can indicate that I enjoyed this festival and also learned some important and valuable things from it. And there is another festival soon which is called “Loy Krathong” and I can not wait for expereincing it. I am sure I will enjoy that festival, too.
Mr. Uygar Kanmaz.