It’s official! The Songkran Festival arrived yesterday in full measure! Don’t expect to travel around town in dry clothes. It would mean that you are not a part of our celebration, and in Thailand, nobody gets left out!
A time to celebrate: The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is becoming well-known around the world as a fun festival. Like India’s Holi Festival, everyone participates. While Indians throw festive colors, Thai people throw lots of water. By walking outside, you’ve simply agreed to being soaked until you return to your house. Songkran is the epitome of the heart of the Thai people. Their fun-loving, relaxed personalities are contagious during this yearly celebration from April 13-16 each year.
Letting out the old and bringing in the new: Our hopes and dreams for a united nation are high right now in Thailand. We are free from the protests of the last two years and are hopeful for a new day in our country. Even the weather seems to be cooperating as it has been the coolest hot season we’ve experienced in many years. Today, April 14, is our second day of the Songkran Festival marking the day known as Wan Nao. On this day, traditional foods are prepared to be used in Buddhist ceremonies on the traditional start of the new year.
The start of a new year: On April 15th, Thai Buddhists will begin their day by going to the temple to make merit. Thai Christians will celebrate by praying, but all will respect their elders. The blessing ceremony, which begins on the 16th is a beautiful and touching scene to behold. Here, our younger loved ones will come to us and pour scented water over our hands. We oldies, in turn, will give a blessing to our younger generations. To bless another is a great way to start anew.
If you think Spring is a time to celebrate, you’re right, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the celebrations we’re having here in Thailand. So if you find yourself chilled by a walk in a park, consider a flight to a world where everyone actively participates in a friendly water battle. Happy New Year from the East!
“Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants.” William Osler