The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15 April.
New year traditions
The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. The morning begins with merit-making. Visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks are commonly practiced; however, on this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday – it represents purification and the washing away all of their sins and bad luck.
As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return homes to their loved ones and elder family members. As a way to show respect, younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands. On the same occasion, paying reverence to ancestors is also an important part of Songkran tradition.
The holiday is known for its iconic water festival which is mostly celebrated by young people. Major streets are closed for traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. Celebrants, young or old, participate in this tradition by splashing water on each other. More importantly, traditional parades are held, where cars are decorated with traditional ornaments.