HOME | CHECKOUT | ABOUT | FAQ | CONTACT US |
 
Welcome Guest [create an account] or log-in:
email
password

Chapter 19 The World’s Largest Water Fight, or the Battle for the Soul of a Festival,Songkran in Thailand and South East Asia

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-3011

ISBN: 978-1-910158-55-5

Published: February 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus on World Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-2822

Abstract

The Songkran Festival in Thailand, although not an indigenous festival, has become the most popular one in the region with tourists, which is why people around the world have assumed that it was originally from Thailand. Traditionally it is a time for reunions, house cleaning and Buddhist rituals and observances, however, it is water that is at the heart of Songkran. Water is celebrated as a blessing and is given as a sign of respect; festival participants sprinkle, splash or douse each other with water as an act of cleansing and good wishes. Traditionally in Thailand Din Sor Pong (white powder) or coloured powders are smeared on the celebrants’ faces, representing the sins of the past which can then be washed away by the water pitched at them by close relatives, friends or other revellers. This traditional lunar new year festival is celebrated by many of the bordering countries including Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Yunnan Province China where the new year festival is variously known as Chaul Chnam Thumey in Cambodia, Thingyuan in Myanmar, and Pbee Mai Lao in Laos. For the Dai people in the Dehong area of southern Yunnan Province of China it is called Shangkran or Shangjian, pointing to its common Buddhist roots with Songkran in Thailand. As we shall see, the festival has become an important tourist attraction for these countries, but nowhere is it more exuberantly celebrated and enthusiastically marketed than in Thailand.

Sample content

Click here to download PDF

Contributors

  • Chris Newbold (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)

Cite as

Newbold, 2016

Newbold, C. (2016) "Chapter 19 The World’s Largest Water Fight, or the Battle for the Soul of a Festival,Songkran in Thailand and South East Asia" In: Newbold, C. & Jordan, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-3011

References

Bangkok Post (2014a) Lawless culture takes its toll, in Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/lite/news/404724/lawless-culture-takes-its-toll accessed 22/09/2015

Bangkok Post (2014b) Songkran in Singapore, in Bangkok Post Stories http://ww.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/400635/songkran-in-singapore accessed 22/09/2015.

Davies, D (1967) Thailand: The Rice Bowl of Asia, London: Frederick Muller.

Footprint (2013) Dream Trip Thailand, Footprint Publications.

Huang, F. Y. (2008) Western and Asian Backpackers in Taiwan: Behaviour, motivation and cultural diversity, in J. Cochrane, (ed.), Asian Tourism: Growth and change, Oxford: Elsevier.

https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-045356-9.50019-9

Intathep, I. (2014) TAT considers legal action over Singapore Songkran, in Bangkok Post (19th March 2014).

Lauzon, A, W. Q. (2010) Songkran and Chiang Mai Tours: Interfacing tourism, the state and local culture, in Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, 28, August 2010, Ritsumeikan Centre for Asian Pacific Studies.

Liming, W (2011) Chinese Festivals, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lonely Planet (2014) Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand, Lonely Planet Publications

National News Bureau Of Thailand (2015a) 7 Values for safety during Songkran holiday, in National News Bureau Of Thailand (7th April 2015) http://thainews.prd.go.th/website_e/news/news_detail/WNSOC5804070010049 accessed 22/09/2015

National News Bureau of Thailand (2015b) PM lauds Thais for being good host to foreigners during Songkran, in National News Bureau Of Thailand (14th April 2015) http://thainews.prd.go.th/website_e/news/news_detail/WNSOC5804150010001 accessed 22/09/2015

Porananond, P., and Robinson, M. (2008) Modernity and the evolution of a festive tourism tradition: The Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in Asian Tourism: Growth and change, J. Cochrane, (ed.), Oxford: Elsevier.

https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-045356-9.50031-X

Rajadhon, P. A. (1956) Loy Krathong and Songkran Festival. (4th edition)Thailand Culture Series no.5. Bangkok: The National Culture Institute.

Rough Guide (2011) The Rough Guide to Thailand's Beaches and Islands, Rough Guide Publications.

Siviroj, P., Peltzer, K., Pengpid, S., and Morarit, S. (2012) Helmet use and associated factors among Thai motorcyclists during Songkran Festival, in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(9).

https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph9093286

The Nation (2015) Road toll exceeds last year's figures, in The Nation, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Road-toll-exceeds-last-years-figures-30258126.html, accessed 10/12/15.

Wongsawat, K. W. (2015) Songkran, Lulu online Publishing.

Terms and conditions of purchase | Privacy policy