Sawasdee Pee Mai Thai!

 

Happy Thai New Year! Here in Thailand, we celebrate the New Year in a different way – if you remember this post of two years ago , you might know what’s happening around the island. If not, a quick intro: the Thai New Year – or Songkran – is celebrated every year from 13-15 April. It’s a time for celebration, joviality and tradition and loads of water. Water fights are held throughout the country and if you don’t want to get wet, you better stay insight for three days, as waterguns, buckets and more filled with water are around every single corner…

 

This year it is supposed to be a little different, as we’ve been having a very dry season. The government, therefore, has asked everyone to take it easy on the water and not waste it as much as other years. Ideas were suggested to spray water instead of throwing it by the buckets, however, this is not really being followed as can be seen in the photos taken in Bangkok today…

02. Bangkok 2016

These huge parties were not part of the original Songkran celebrations but grew this way along the years. There are a lot of beautiful traditions carried out by the Thais, that I wish I knew about earlier!

The first day of Songkran, for instance, is all about older people. And a ritual called ‘Rod Nam Dum Hua’ is being performed, in which water is respectfully poured on elders {no buckets or water guns are used!}, senior relatives or respective persons in a respectful manner. When doing so you ask for their forgiveness and say sorry for anything wrong you have done to them in the past year. The wrong could be something you said, not given enough attention and care or even for something you thought.

The second day in Songkran is known as the Family day. Families visit their temple and offer gifts to Buddhist monks. The rest of the day is spent sharing time with family and friends.

On the third day, people gather in temples again. This time, they bring food and small bottles of scented water to Buddhist monks but also candles and incense sticks. At the shrine, each person lights a candle and three incense sticks and place them together with the flowers in front of Buddha’s altar.


Not only the monks are receiving a bathing, but also the Buddha statues in the temple or at home. This is done to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year.

The last two rituals are probably where the water throwing is coming from, which turned into a huge party all around Thailand. And slowly you can see the same festivities in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos too, where they also celebrate the New Year at this time. If you are around in one of these countries, make sure to protect your valuables in a waterproof bag and have loads of fun!

Sawasdee Pee Mai 2559!

xxx Frei

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