Thai New Year

Posted on: 25 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

The Thai New Year, or Songkran as it is known in Thailand, is officially held on April 12, 13 and 14, but Thai celebrations last for the week.

The Thai New Year, or Songkran as it is known in Thailand, is officially held on April 12, 13 and 14, but Thai celebrations last for the week.  The roots of the Songkran celebration stem from the ancient lunar and astrological calendars and officially falls on only one day, April 13th, when the moon passes from Aries into Taurus.   

It is a time of merriment and ritual for the people of Thailand, rituals deeply entwined with water.  Water is vital to the economic and welfare of the Oriental world and symbolises cleansing and renewal for the new year ahead.  On the third day of Songkran families splash scented water from silver bowls on the household and temple images of Buddha, dressed in traditional dress.  The younger generation gently pours water, filled with the delicate scent of jasmine petals, down the backs of older family members whilst muttering prayers and good wishes.  It is a mark of respect and a form of blessing to cleanse and renew the spirit for the forthcoming year.   Another ritual is the tying of strings around the wrists of others, uttering prayers and good wishes as the process is completed.  These are worn throughout the new year and are left to fall off on their own accord.  Other rituals such as cleaning the house, offering preserved foods, fruit and new robes to the monks and making sand piles on temple grounds to signify personal pagodas, illustrate the importance of this festival to the Thai people.   

So, why not mark Songkran in your household this year with a selection of Thai food. 

Thai Chicken Curry

Thai Curry dishes

Thai Banana Rice Pudding

 

 

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