The Thai New Year or Songkran is a Thai traditional festival, which runs from April 13 to 15 every year.
It’s most famous for the water splashing that takes place in the streets, but actually includes a range of activities that go well beyond that.
Songkran has deep roots historically and astrologically. The word itself comes from a Sanskrit term which means “a major transition”. Songkran begins when the sun transits into the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in Zodiac. It is a time to remind people of the uncertainty they will encounter ahead.
The country’s leading fortune-teller Tossapol Sritaula, commonly known as Mor Chang, spoke to dtac.blog to share his view on how Songkran can bring you health, wealth and happiness.
1 – Why do Thais visit temples during Songkran?
Traditionally, Thai people have a deep relationship with these three institutes – home, royal palace and temple. A temple is like an oasis to find peace of mind. That’s why Thais would visit their nearby temple very often.
Today, Thais also visit temples just to make a wish or show they are a good person on their social media channels. Youngsters might find that visiting temple is such a boring, old-fashioned activity.
In fact, visiting temples is not necessary only during Songkran, but any time you can.
2 – Why do Thais clean up their house during Songkran?
Before finding entertaining yourself with water splashing and partying. I recommend you all to start the year by boosting your positive force, which is a reminder of the truth of life. You will face uncertainty. It is a natural part of life and something that almost everybody feels on a daily basis. This is why we need positive force to deal with uncertainty.
According to the Thai horoscope, this year’s actual Thai New Year is on April 14 from 9:01 am onwards. People should start with a big cleaning day, especially the Buddha images worshiped in your house.
3 – Why do Thais pour water on their parents’ feet?
Apart from buddha images, Thai people treat their parents as holy persons who deserve to be worshipped. This ritual called Rod-Nam-Dam-Hua, which involves young people pouring rose and jasmine scented water into the palms or feet of parents or wise elders is a signs of humility and to ask for their blessing.
Otherwise, you should take them to have a good meal or spend time with family as time is the most important part of life that money cannot buy.
4 – Why do Thai people visit holy places?
After pouring water on your parents’ feet, this is a good timing to travel and visit some holy places nearby.
To be clear, there is a myth that Thai people now are making a one-day trip to worship 9 temples or something like a rally race. Actually, it’s not quite right. Please remember that a temple is a place to find a peace of mind.
Mor Chang recommends 5 holy places in inner Bangkok to make a good start in Thai New Year.
Emerald Buddha Temple or Wat Pra Kaew
The temple was constructed in 1785 in the reign of Rama I, a part of the royal palace. Inside the main building of the temple or the ordination hall is where the statue of the Emerald Buddha is housed. It’s a highly regarded and significant Buddha image. It is believed that those who worship the Emerald Buddha will obtain good luck in return.
Bangkok City Pillar Shrine
Ancient Thai tradition dictates a city pillar should always be erected when founding a new city. King Rama I had the Bangkok City Pillar built in 1782.
Since the pillar serves as the cornerstone of Bangkok, it is believed that the pillar will make your life stable.
Hua Lum Phong Temple
Just crossing the street from dtac house, Wat Hua Lum Phong features a range of merit-making activities, such as feeding a cow, making donations for the poor, or registering for volunteer work. This place is like a merit-making one-stop service, while its elegant, white -colored elegant chapel allows you to pray in peace.
Wat Pho or the Temple of Reclining Buddha
It is believed that worshipers here will obtain prosperity and life achievements in return. Mor Chang personally likes this temple and he visits it often.
Gong Wu Shrine
Located in Klong San, in Thon Buri, here is an almost three-century-old Taoist shrine, considered the oldest Gong Wu shrine in Thailand. People usually visit there to pay homage and make a wish for progress in their lives.