On New Year’s day, the Thais would typically go to a Buddhist monastery, or wat, to pray and offer alms to the monks. They cleanse Buddha images by gently sprinkling scented water over them. Then, this water is poured on the shoulder of the elderly to show respect. The water pouring is a symbolic act of the cleansing of the spirit, mind and body. It is also believed that the water washes away the past year’s sins and bad luck.
Songkran is called the water festival, or the water throwing festival, as throwing water is the main feature of the event. When considering the spiritual and religious aspects of the festival, some people may think it is rude and outrageous that people nowadays use buckets, garden hoses, water balloons and water pistols to drench each other. But the throwing of water has now become the most fun part of the festival during this hottest month of the year - around 40 °C, or 100 °F. Young people typically throw water on strangers, holidaymakers, foreigners, motorcyclists and buses – anything that moves. Getting soaked under the scorching heat is actually refreshing as it can relieve body heat. The only way to avoid getting wet during this time is to stay indoors – chances are highly likely they will throw water on a person in a business suit.
We would like to wish those Bandar Botanic residents who have Thai relatives & friends, a Happy Songkran.