There are several feasts and festivals regularly held in Thailand. Out of them, the Songkran Festival, is by far the most striking one. This festival is widespread across the country but it is also celebrated in neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Burma and Lao State.
The word “Songkran” is derived from a Sanskrit word translated in Thai which defines the entry of the sun into any house of all zodiac signs. For this festival, the Songkran refers to the instance when the sun enters the house of Aries. The full name of the festival is “Maha Songkran” or Great Songkran. This distinguishes the festival from the other Songkran’s. People commonly refer to the festival as just Songkran as it is the only one known to them or the only one that matters. The Maha Songkran is the traditional New Year and it is an occasion when people can enjoy their holidays to a full extent without having any economic worries.
In the solar calendar the festival is a fixable feast. It is generally celebrated between the 13th to the 15th of April. In some years it lasts until the 16th April. The Songkran celebration can be compared to festivals such as the Holi celebrated in India, the Ching Ming in China and Easter. It celebrates the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring as the sun cross the equator. The Songkran celebration can also be compared to April Fool’s Day as pranks are traditionally played by villagers on people who pass their way.