There will be light

14 04 2010

We are entering long holiday Songkran season here in Thailand. The Songkran festival (Thai: สงกรานต์, from Sanskrit saṅkrānti, “astrological passage”) is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia.

Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season. Until 1888 the Thai New Year was the beginning of the year in Thailand; thereafter 1 April was used until 1940. 1 January is now the beginning of the year. The traditional Thai New Year has been a national holiday since then.

The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends and neighbors.

This year, Songkran is not expected to cool off the nation.
In Bangkok, thousands of protesters from the provinces have decided to celebrate Songkran in the capital, where they have been waging increasingly violent demonstrations against the government for the past month, and there is no sign that the conflict will be settled anytime soon.

However, the rest of us are determined to move forward and live our lives. It has been a lot calmer in the city for the last few days. Everyone is trying to take a break to celebrate the holiday with water, flowers, food, temple, friends and family.

I am pleased to see that much of Songkran spirit is still here in Bangkok.

How can you go wrong celebrating with the lovely elephants?

I am happy to see that the police got a bit of a break for these last couple days.

Even the kids are taking a break.

I went back to get more flowers for the temple and grannie.

Praying and making offering to the Buddha and the monks.

Of course we love to cook and eat. Shopping for food. Fresh chillies and limes.

More veggies.

Delicious octopus and squid.

Fish and meat ball snack.

Fresh amazing coconut ice cream.

More ice cream.

There were some festivities of Thai traditional dancing at the temple. Grannie and I enjoyed watching the little girl getting ready to perform. She was so cute.

The most wonderful resident greeter, Tong Khow the kitty at the temple.

My family and I are truly touched by your warm kind words. It means very much to us and our country. We all hope that the peaceful resolution will be reached sooner than later. Thank you very much again.

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2 responses

15 04 2010
Maura

What beautiful photographs you are taking, Modi, I love seeing all of the festival preparations. So much color and beauty! And that cat is fantastic. I’m glad there has been a lull in the violence, hopefully things will stay calm for awhile. Happy New Year!
xo

16 04 2010
Jennifer

Gorgeous pictures Modi! Can’t wait to see you home safe. Jen

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