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Songkran is a cultural festival celebrated throughout Thailand to mark the Thai New Year. The festival typically takes place over three days in mid-April and is a time for reflection, renewal, and family. During the festival, people make merit by offering food and donations to monks at temples and also spend time with their loved ones.
One of the most iconic traditions of Songkran is the water-splashing ceremony, where people throw water on each other to cleanse themselves of any negativity from the previous year and bring good luck for the upcoming one. The ceremony usually starts in the morning, with people gathering on the streets and sidewalks armed with buckets, water guns, and hoses to drench passersby. Many people also use talcum powder to smear their faces, which is believed to help ward off evil spirits.
Apart from the water-splashing ceremony, Songkran is also a time for cultural activities, such as traditional Thai dances, music performances, and competitions. The most famous of these is the Miss Songkran beauty pageant, where contestants dressed in traditional Thai costumes compete for the title. Additionally, many Thai people take the opportunity to visit their hometowns to spend time with their families and participate in traditional activities such as making offerings to their ancestors.
In conclusion, Songkran is a joyful and meaningful festival that celebrates the Thai New Year and provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Thailand. The water-splashing ceremony, cultural activities, and family gatherings make Songkran a unique and unforgettable experience.