Songkran 2019: History, Significance, Dates & Everything About This Festival

Songkran 2019: History, Significance, Dates & Everything About This Festival

              Songkran 2019 History, Significance, Dates: Songkran is basically the Thai New Year’s national holiday. Songkran is celebrated every year on 13 April but the holiday period extends from 14–15 April. The Buddhist countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand are just about to celebrate their three-day Khmer New Year or Songkran. In Chiang Mai, the government has allowed permission to its people to celebrate early to fight air pollution.

Songkran is celebrated in different methods in several countries. In Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, people celebrate the day with water fights. Though other countries in Southeast Asia also celebrate the event at the same time, they observe the extraordinary event in a diverse method, as per The South China Morning Post.

What does Songkran Mean?

The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti which literally means “astrological passage”, in simple terms it means transformation or change. The word was taken from the name of a Hindu harvest festival named “Makar Sankranti” which celebrated in India in the month of January to celebrate the coming of spring. It accords with the growing of Aries on the astrological chart and with the New Year of a lot of calendars of South as well as Southeast Asia, in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.

When is Songkran 2019?

In the year 2019, the holiday will be observed on 12 April and will carry out till 16 April as 13 April falls on a Saturday. In the year 2018, the Thai cabinet stretched the festival countrywide for about five days that is from 12 to 16 April, to allow the people to travel home for the holiday.

Upcoming Maha Songkran and Thaloengsok Table

YearChinese zodiacMaha Songkran

(Songkran starts)

Thaloengsok

(Songkran ends)

2019Pig14 April 2019

15:14:24

16 April 2019

19:12:00

2020Rat13 April 2020

21:27:00

16 April 2020

01:24:36

2021Ox14 April 2021

03:39:36

16 April 2021

07:37:12

2022Tiger14 April 2022

09:52:12

16 April 2022

13:49:48

2023Rabbit14 April 2023

16:04:48

16 April 2023

20:02:24

2024Dragon13 April 2024

22:17:24

16 April 2024

02:15:00

History of Songkran

At the present in Thailand, New Year is formally celebrated on January 1, but previously Songkran was the official New Year till the year 1888 when it was swapped to a fixed date of 1 April. After that in the year 1940, this date was moved to 1 January. The traditional Thai New Year Songkran was then converted into a national holiday.

Songkran Celebration

Throughout the Songkran celebration, you can hear Cambodians screaming “Sousaday chhnam thmei” on the streets which means “Happy New Year.” There are also Songkran traditions like offering at pagodas, giving respect to the dead, and cleaning bathing ceremonials for the approaching year. Nowadays people also celebrate the day in style with loud music, feasting, and consuming crates of Angkor and Cambodian beer.

The three-day celebration also comprises New Year games such as “tres,” which players have to grasp a ball in one hand and take a stick in the other one. The additional game is “chab kon kl eng,” in which the player has to pretend to be a hen that has to guard her chicks from a crow that attempts to get it.

In the meantime, as per to the Khaosod English, Songkran comes initially in Chiang Mai as its government permits its people to start the water fights to fight air pollution. Everybody, as well as the tourists, can splish-splash water guns opening on April 3 until April 15.

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Carrie Brunner

About the Author: Carrie Brunner