[Video] Songkran Festival: Webster Thailand celebrates traditional Thai New Year

| May 12, 2015

Students, staff and faculty members at Webster University Thailand’s Cha-Am/Hua Hin campus celebrated the traditional Thai New Year in time-honored style during the recent Songkran Festival, a series of activities that ranged from the traditional to the more contemporary. View the video of the Webster’s Songkran celebrations above, or click here to view on YouTube.

In celebration of Songkran Festival, students, staff and faculty members at Webster University Thailand’s Cha-Am/Hua Hin campus took part in a series of activities that ranged from the traditional to the more contemporary.

In celebration of Songkran Festival, students, staff and faculty members at Webster University Thailand’s Cha-Am/Hua Hin campus took part in a series of activities that ranged from the traditional to the more contemporary.

As all celebrations across Thailand did, the Cha-Am/Hua Hin campus began the day paying respects and offering food to monks in the early morning. Another important tradition of the Songkran festival is the use of scented water to wash and bless Buddha images as well as the hands and sometimes the feet of the elderly and other senior figures, including teachers and professors. The gentle pouring of scented water is symbolic of cleansing and is said to wash away any sins and bad luck that may have accumulated over the previous year.

In recent years, Songkran has become known worldwide as a fun-filled water festival, especially for the young. In contrast to the sedate pouring of scented water that is traditional, the more contemporary Songkran activities include splashing friends with water and even taking part in playful water fights with toy water guns. As Songkran takes place during the hottest part of the year in Thailand, these activities provide a chance for people to cool off and have fun at the same time.

A number of fun water activities and games were also organized by Webster University Thailand students. These included taking a dip in the campus’s fountain, while several students also had a go on the temporary water slide.

A great day was had by all. As the Thais say, “suksan pee mai” (Happy New Year).

About the Songkran Festival

Celebrated in Thailand for centuries as the traditional New Year, the Songkran Festival takes place over a three-day period from April 13-15 each year. While Thailand officially converted to the Western Gregorian calendar with New Year on Jan. 1 in 1940, Songkran remains a public holiday and the most important festival for the Thai people. Similar to Thanksgiving or the Christmas and New Year holidays in the U.S., Songkran is a time when families come together, even traveling great distances to do so.

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Category: Campus Snapshots, International & U.S. Campuses

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