Happy Songkran Day

Songkran Day2During the dry season in Thailand from about the end of November until approximately the end of May there are only a few rainy days.  But, each year in early or mid-April Thai people expect to have a few days of heavy rain.  Because this is the hottest time of the year, the cooling, refreshing rains are a welcome relief.  This is possibly one reason why the Thai New Year on April 13 is a water festival.  The Thai name is Songkran Day.

Historically a water blessing was part of the Songkran celebration.  To show love and respect for their elders, children and youth gently poured a small amount of water on the hands of their parents and other loved adults.  They spoke a few words of good wishes as they poured the water.

That ceremony is still repeated in virtually every family today, but another aspect of the Songkran festival is a favorite of the young people.  It is common to see children and youth pouring, throwing and shooting large amounts of water on each other.  Some use small cups or glasses.  Others use buckets or hoses to get each other as wet as possible.  This community water fight continues for the 3 days of the Songkran festival in Bangkok, but can stretch to a week or longer in smaller towns and rural areas.  This activity extends beyond the family and usually includes anyone passing by in cars and trucks or on bicycles, motorbikes or on foot.

Since the Thai New Year is one of the biggest holidays in Thailand, it has become a tradition for a large portion of the Thai people to travel back to their hometowns and villages to spend time with their families.  This is true also for the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff.  The LHMT ministry center is closed for the Songkran holiday and the staff returned to their hometowns in northeastern, central and southern Thailand.

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