Songkran is not just a festival for splashing water at each other in the Kingdom, but also the astrological passage of traditional Thai New Year, with each year’s celebration having its own representative mythological goddess to give the general public an idea about the weather forecast for harvests in the year ahead.
This year’s Songkran, whose Thai New Year’s Day – April 14 – falls on Saturday, is represented by the goddess Mahothorn Devi, who has a peacock as her vehicle, with her right hand holding a “chakram” gear wheel and her left hand holding a trident.
She also has water hyacinth and black sapphire as decorative items, and hog deer as her food.
With Mahothorn Devi representing this year’s Songkran, the prophecy has it that there will be plenty of rice, fish and other food but less water for agriculture in the year ahead, according to Monday’s government announcement about Songkran 2018.
Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat invited people to celebrate the Songkran Festival in line with the traditional ways of merit-making, Buddha image-bathing, asking seniors for blessing and saving water.
He urged that the water-splashing or partying accompanying the festival should also consider people’s safety.
The Cultural Promotion Department will host a celebration at the Bangkok Cultural Centre under the theme “Songkran Vithithai Chainam Khumkha Cheva Plodpai” (Thai traditional-style celebration of Songkran, which is to save water and ensure public safety), the minister said.
Like the rest of Thailand, various major sites in Bangkok city will hold special Songkran celebrations during April 12-15, including at Wat Pathumwanaram, Siam Paragon shopping mall, Siam Square, Silom Road and Khao San Road.