New Year in South and Southeast Asia Date in the current year: April 13, 2016

New Year in South and Southeast Asia In many countries in South and Southeast Asia, the traditional New Year's festival is celebrated from April 13 to April 15. It is known by many names, but the best known name is Songkran. The festival is so called in Thailand and Laos.

The date of the holiday varies in different countries, but it typically begins on the 13th or 14th on April and lasts for three days. During this period, New Year celebrations are held in Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Maldives.

The New Year festival is typically celebrated in a big way in these countries. In Thailand, it is customary to throw water over each other. This ritual symbolizes washing all the bad away and starting the new year with a clean slate. Sometimes water is filled with fragrant herbs.

In Laos, perfumed water is also used to soak people and passers-by. Over the years, the tradition of throwing flour on each other has also developed. Other holiday traditions include singing, dancing, decorating Buddha images with flowers, and setting animals free.

In Myanmar, the New Year festival is called Thingyan. During the holiday, the government relaxes the restrictions on public gatherings. In Sri Lanka, this holiday is known as Sinhalese New Year, but it is celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans throughout the country. In Cambodia, people prepare special dishes and play traditional games on the occasion.

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Public Holidays, Religious Holidays, Folk Festivals


Thailand, Laos, Maldives, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia


New Year in South and Southeast Asia, Songkran, public holiday, folk festival, religious holiday