- In Thailand, as also in the Dai People communities of Southern China (where the Tai originated from), the Tai Lao in Laos,and the Buddhist communities in Cambodia and Myanmar, the Calender New Year is occasioned between 13 and 15 April each year. The Thai use a lunisolar calendar (both the Sun rotation and the moon phase rotation) and the date was fixed on a solar calculation. The word '' Songkran '' is derived from the Indian Sancript word '' Sankanta '' which means '' a change or move ''. The dates are now fixed arbitarily but originally would move with the move of the sun on the vernal equinox. This occurred as a consequence of '' precession '' and the tilt of the earth and the effect of its orbit. Over the past the dates have changed but are now fixed irrespective of the original rationale and what would otherwise be the astrological calculation. From a natural perspective the dates also signal the end of the dry season.
Songkran Festival Thailand
- The Songkran Festival is the most prominent of all the festivals in Thailand because it’s usually celebrated not just in Thailand but also in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
- Songkran is a Sanskrit word that means the entrance of the sun into any indication of the Zodiac. However the Songkran in this specific case is when the sun gets into the symbol of the Ram or Aries. In order to differentiate it from the other ones, its complete name is Major Songkran or Maha Songkran. Nonetheless the people call it just the Songkran because it’s the only one they know and in which they are interested. Songkran Festival is their long-established New Year when they can delight in their holidays to the full without economic obstacle. On the solar calendar, Songkran is a fixable festival. It starts on the 13th April and finishes on the 15th April, however sometimes in specific years on the 16th April. In fact, the Songkran is the festival of the Vernal Equinox, similar to those of the Christian Festival of Easter, the Chinese Ching Ming and the Indian Holi Festival. On the 21st of March when the sun crosses the equator, spring starts. The Songkran Festival is like April Fool's Day.
Origin of Songkran
- Once upon a time there was a young man who understood language of the birds. This made one of the gods, Kabil Maha Phrom jealous. He asked the young man 3 mysterious questions with the bet that if the young man does not provide the correct answers within a week, he would lose his head; on the other hand if he accomplishes something, the god himself would give his own head. The young man was worried to give answers to such tough questions and he prepared to kill himself instead of facing defeat.
- While he was thinking the ways to get out of this menace, he heard voice of the mother eagle. The mother eagle was reassuring her eaglets who were hungry that they would soon get the body of the young man who would not succeed to provide the correct answers. The mother eagle provided the correct answers which the young man heard and provided the correct answers to the god. The god lost the bet and cut off his own head. His head was awful. If it plunged into the sea, the sea would dry up and if it dropped on the earth there would be a fire worldwide. For that reason the god's head was placed in a cave in the heavens. On Songkran Day one of the god's 7 daughters one by one will carry head of her father with many of other goddesses and gods waling round like the sun round the Meru. Then there are celebrations among the heavenly beings. After the feast, the god's head was brought back to the cave to take out on Songkran day the next year.