Do you know that China also has the ‘Songkran Festival’?

Songkran Festival is the Thai New Year’s Day, a tradition passed on from generation to generation for a long time. This is also a popular festival that both Thais and foreigners look forward to, especially Chinese people who travel to Thailand. Do you know that the Songkran Festival is also held in China? but only in some areas in China. Let ACU PAY take you to see which part of China has this festival as Thailand.


Songkran Festival in China

Songkran Festival in China is found in some areas in Southeast Asia or ASEAN in Xishuangbanna, Dehong, and Jinghong (Chiang Rung), and Yunnan, an area of the group called “Tai people” or Shan people.

Tai people consider Songkran an important tradition and housewarming, which falls on April 13-15 every year according to the calendar of Tai people, just like Thai Songkran.

The Songkran Festival name that the Chinese people generally call 泼水节 (Poshui jie) which means water-splashing festival, but for Tai ethnic groups in Dehong, called 摆栓南 (Bai xuan nan) or 摆赏建 (Bai shang jia). The ethnic group “De’anɡ”, a tribe in Dehong that spread to many areas in Yunnan, calls this festival 浇花节 (Jiao Hua Jie). Still, for Thai Songkran, the Chinese people call 宋干节 (Song gan jie) with the transliteration “Songkran” in Thai.

Tai people believe that splashing water will wash away the bad and start the new year with the best of all. People who get the most water splashing at will be the happiest in the New Year. Water splashing will also convey the good wishes of Tai people who wish for safety and happiness throughout the year.

Songkran Festival of Tai people

The Songkran festival of Tai people in China where is nationally famous, and also a popular site for foreigners to visit is as follow;

  1. Tai Songkran Festival, Jinghong District, or Chiang Rung, Xishuangbanna
  2. International Songkran Festival, Mang District, Dehong City

These two festivals are popular among many foreign tourists. Each year, tens of thousands of people from Tai people in China, Myanmar, Lao, and Thais and Chinese and foreigners play in the water or splash it with fun.

The difference between Thai Songkran and Tai Songkran

Songkran in China is slightly different in terms of beliefs and rituals according to each region of China. For example, at Xishuangbanna, there will be a dragon boat race at the Lancang River or Lan Chang, Mekong River that flows through China.

In addition, a lantern was also released at night on Songkran Day (April 13) to wish for the sky. The lantern is called the “Khong Ming lantern” or “Zhuge Liang lantern”. For Thailand, we tend to float more lanterns during the Loy Krathong Festival, but in other rituals such as making merit, sprinkling water onto a Buddha image, making sand chedi, and paying respect to the elders, similar to Thai traditions.

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