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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Thailand, Lesson 3 – Songkran Festival Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Thailand Series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Thai holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3, Songkran Festival Day. In Thai, it’s called วันสงกรานต์ (wan sŏng-graan).
In this lesson, we're going to discuss Songkran Day, which falls on April 13-15 every year. I believe many people already know this day as ‘water festival’. This period is a very joyful one for Thai people because it is a long holiday that allows everyone to fully relax from their work or study.
You must be interested by now. If you’re ready, let’s listen.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
April 13 of every year is not only Songkran Day, but also another important day for Thai people. What do you guys think this day is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Songkran is a long holiday period, which allows children and grandchildren who work in different areas, especially the capital city, to take the opportunity to visit their hometown - บ้านเกิด (bâan gòoet) and family - ครอบครัว (khrâawp-khruua). so they can take part in activities together over the holiday. One long-held tradition consists of making offerings, offering food to monks, and doing charitable activities like setting animals free and working for public services. Another traditional activity is to pour water onto elders’ or respected people’s hands to ask for their blessings.
An important activity during Songkran Festival that attracts millions of foreign tourists is water splashing or เล่นน้ำสงกรานต์ (lên náam sŏng-graan). During the festival period, getting splashed is considered normal in Thailand. Thai people will not be angry because they believe that splashing water works to wash bad luck and other bad things away. However, it should be done respectfully. Exceptions should be made for elders or those who are not willing to play with water. People will walk along the streets with water guns. Some will play in front of their own houses, holding water hoses that are normally used to wash cars and splashing water on passersby. In some places, people also rub chalk on each other’s faces.
Another activity that is held in every province is the Miss Songkran beauty pageant. This event is for Thai ladies aged 18 to 25. Its purpose is to find a lady or หญิงสาว (yĭng săao) with the beauty, knowledge, and ability to represent and promote tourism for the province. The judging criteria for the contestants include wearing Thai dresses, showing their talents and personality, and answering quizzes that test their wit.
The Songkran Festival is a tradition that is not only present in Thailand but also in other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. It is presumed that this festival was influenced by the Holi festival in India.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
April 13 of every year is not only the Songkran Day, but also another important day for Thai people. What do you guys think this day is?
Since the reign of King Rama V, April 1 had been designated as the Thai New Year. Later, in 1940, the date of New Year's Day was changed to the international day recognized on January 1. However, as Thai people in those days were still used to New Year's Day being in April, April 13 was designated the first day of the Songkran holiday period, as well as the traditional Thai New Year.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have a similar tradition in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!


Please to leave a comment.
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Monday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have a similar tradition in your country?


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Friday at 12:35 AM
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Hello Khun Richard,

Good sharing as always. So nice to shared with us. Hope you doing well with our lessons. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with your Thai. Look forward for more share in the future from you. :)

Have a good day.


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Richard Creaser
Wednesday at 02:49 AM
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In 2015 I was staying with the family of a Thai friend in Bangkok. I was puzzled that they bought me a garish Hawaiian shirt but pleased that I wasn't pressed to wear it. I came down from my bedroom one morning and my friends sister beckoned me to come to her, she gave me a jug filled with water, with rose petals floating on the water and indicated that I pour it over her ill father's hands. I did as she indicated and then for her mother. I was thanked for doing this. At the time I hadn't a clue what was happening. Later in the day I was instructed to wear the shirt and off we went to Silom Street where everyone was soaking everyone else with water using any means they could. I had been 'armed' with a water cannon. What a joyful experience of soaking others and being soaked with water. No one got upset and the shirt marked me as a target. This was Songkran. We 'escaped' on the sky train and spent the evening at Asiatique. It wasn't until I got back to England that I realised the importance of pouring water over her parents hands - I had been accepted into the family and I am now married to my friends sister. This is why I need to learn Thai.

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Tuesday at 03:41 PM
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Hello yan,

Thank you very much for your comment. I think we would like to explain about our holiday and give you a few new words at a time so it not overwhelm. There are a lot more to learn when you keep following a long all of our material. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you have a good progress with Thai.

Have a nice day.




Saturday at 05:23 PM
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Is it part of lesson of Songkran? I feel to many English, and few Thai.

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Monday at 07:03 PM
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Hi Pascal,

Thank you for posting.

We are sorry to hear that you can’t access to the audio files.

We have checked it and couldn’t find any technical issue. Please try to log out, clean the cache and cookies and to log in again. If that doesn’t work, please try to log in with a different browser or send us a mail to contactus@thaiPod101.com mentioning your user ID, the issue and the type of device you are using.


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Monday at 03:44 PM
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Hello Pascal,

Thank you very much for your comment. Apologized for our delay but we checking comment mostly on Monday and Friday. I was checked it on Friday but maybe before you sent. Any way for your question, I have to wait for our technical team to answer. I already passed your comment to them. If you have a problem in the future please directly contact to email contactus@ThaiPod101.com

Thanks again and hope you have a great day.


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Saturday at 12:30 PM
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Hello, I posted a comment 24 hours ago and got no answer, is it normal?

Friday at 05:13 PM
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Hello, I have a problem, since yesterday I have no sound. The lesson opens, but no sound.

I have a MacBook Air and I have sound with everything else, Skype, music, tv,

but not Thaipod101.com. Did this ever happen to someone?

Thanks for your feedbacks.