The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change.
Originally the Thai’s (who still hold the deep and admirable conviction of respecting their elders) celebrated Songran by gently sprinkling a little water on, usually, on the wrists of family members and elders for good luck and fortune.
The morning would begin with merit-making, visiting local temples to offer food to the Buddhist monks and performing water pouring rituals on Buddha statues to represent purification and the washing away all of their sins and bad luck. People who had moved away usually returned to their homes to visit their loved ones and elder family members.
Paying reverence to ancestors was also an important part of Songkran tradition.
Enter the Farang (foreigner) and all hell breaks loose. Gone (well almost) are the quaint respectful traditions and within a very short time Songran escalates to all out water warfare where everyone ends up soaked from head to foot and no one is exempt.