Throughout the year, we are exploring the significance of local traditions and holidays and how onsemi employees from around the world celebrate them. In these blogs, we hope to enlighten, inspire and educate on the different cultures we work with every day, as well as foster a sense of community and belonging at onsemi. In our organization, we value the diverse perspectives that our global workforce brings each day as we build a better future through intelligent technology.
Songkran History and Significance
Widely celebrated as Thai New Year, between April 13 and 15, Songkran is the most important festival in Thailand. It is spent with family and friends, reflecting on the previous year’s accomplishments while anticipating the year ahead. The festival is also celebrated in other Asian countries such as China, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Songkran is commonly associated with water, with the festival marking the end of the dry season. Water is also significant because it is believed to be spiritually purifying, washing away bad luck from the prior year and blessing you for the upcoming year. Initially used to bless village elders and family, water is also used in a giant country-wide water fight during Songkran, leading to its other known name, the Water Festival.
Three Days of Songkran
So, what can you expect during the official celebration of Songkran?
- April 13 is the first official day of festivities, dedicated to showing appreciation to elders. Gifts and money are given to elderly relatives and children. This is also the day when Thailand’s largest water fights happen. The mutual splashing of water on others is fun, celebratory in nature and is a sight to behold!
- April 14 is when New Year’s Eve is celebrated and is also commonly known as Family Day, when everyone is encouraged to spend quality time with their loved ones.
- April 15 is when the New Year begins in Thailand. There are numerous celebrations, parties, music, street food and plenty of water fights.
Outside of these three days, many places in Thailand celebrate much longer, some as long as five to 10 days!
There are numerous places in Thailand to enjoy Songkran, with Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Pattaya hosting some of the more well-known celebrations. Phuket is also home to many beach parties during Songkran. The Thai concept of sanuk, or having fun, is at the forefront of Songkran celebrations. Adults and children join in the water fights, holding colorful oversized water pistols and soaking unsuspecting strangers and friends that want to be included in the excitement! The customary greeting for this event is Sawatdee Pi Mai, or Happy New Year.
Let’s look at how some of our onsemi colleagues in Thailand traditionally celebrate the time of new beginnings.
Jariya Phomanee, a planner and production scheduler, shares that her favorite memory from a Songkran festival was water splashing with her friends. She now likes to attend music festivals but notes the importance of returning home to be with family and friends during this special time.
Phomanee has enjoyed the Wipeout music festival in Bangkok during Songkran in prior years.
External manufacturing operation engineer Pallop Sathiennet celebrates Songkran in a similar fashion as his colleague. The water-splashing parties with friends are also his favorite memory of the event. Now, Pallop celebrates by purchasing gifts and new clothing and gives money to his parents, grandparents and children. He says
Sathienett celebrating Songkran with family as the kids play and enjoy the water.
Punika Nuchjavitthayaporn, an external manufacturing planner, explains that there are many things to do during Songkran. One traditional celebration she participates in is blessing elders by pouring water on their hands. Her family also spends time together and shares a meal. Nuchjavitthayaporn’s favorite Songkran memory involves dressing up in traditional Thai outfits, playing games with family and, of course, the water-splashing spectacle. She encourages her onsemi colleagues worldwide to participate in Songkran festivities if they can.
“If you come to Thailand during mid-April, please do not miss our Songkran Festival,” said Nuchjavitthayaporn. “Some provinces will even have a parade for the festival and splashing water on each other is something everyone can enjoy.”
Nuchjavitthayaporn is blessing a female family member by pouring water over her hands.
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