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19 เมษายน 2549
 

SONGKRAN

SONGKRAN
Songkran (สงกรานต์) is the most important feast for Thai people. Often called 'water' festival, Songkran is the ancient New Year's Day happening mid April. Now the official New Year's Day happens the 1st January.

For Songkran festival, Thai people clean everything, i.e the house, the previous year bad actions, the Buddha statues, one's own spirit. But nowadays Songkran festival is better known for its splashing water madness. Traditionally the ceremony was to pour water into the palms hands in order that bad actions, bad thoughts flow away with the water. It was a way to purify. Children show their respect to elders by performing this water ceremony. Also scented water is poured over the shoulder and slowly down the back of the person. While pouring the water in this manner, people say good wishes and words of blessing for the coming New Year.

The first day of Songkran period is an important day to make good deeds. People visit temples to listen to Dharma. Also they give alms to monks.
Listen Dharma
Food is offered to monks. The food left is shared by the nuns and the people offering alms.
Offer food
On the second day of the New Year festival, Thai people traditionaly carry sand into temples compounds in order to build a small pagoda ("PHRA CHEDI SAI" - พระเจดีย์ทราย). These sand piles represent personal pagodas built as part of the merit-making ritual. People leaving a temple during the previous year have taken with them temple dust. Taking sand into the temple during Songkran festival atones for what they have taken out.
Sand piles

People also donate flags (ตุกปักทราย - "TUK PAK SAY") to sand pagoda. It is believed to bring luck and considered as a revered offering to the temple.

Thai Buddhist temples traditionally move what are believed to be their holiest statues to open-air pavilions during the Thai New Year to allow worshippers to sprinkle them with water. It sometimes happens that ancient Buddha statues were stolen from shrines erected outside temples to accommodate Thai worshippers. Buddhist artefacts are frequently smuggled from rural Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia to Bangkok markets, where they are often sold to foreign collectors.
Clean Buddha statues
During Thai New Year parade Buddha statues are settled on cars. People sprinkle holy water on the statue to purify it.
Clean Buddha statues

Songkran festival lasts officially three days. But it often starts one day before if the weather is very hot. All administrations and banks are closed. Most people living in Bangkok go back up-country to visit their relatives and to participate to Songkran feast. During Songkran festival there is no traffic jams in Bangkok. Many houses nationwide are put under police watch during Songkran.




Create Date : 19 เมษายน 2549
Last Update : 19 เมษายน 2549 21:37:04 น. 2 comments
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The Phra Pradaeng Songkran Festival, formerly known as the 'Pak Lat Songkran Festival', was similar to Songkran celebrated in the other regions of the country, with the notable addition of a colourful and elaborate Songkran procession staged by the Mon, or Raman, residents of Phra Pradaeng.

The highlight of the festival is a grand procession of floral floats carrying beautiful maidens dressed in a traditional Mon, or Raman, costume. Each holds a fish bowl in one hand and a bird cage in the other. Other maidens, accompanied by men dressed in traditional Raman costume of sarong and round-necked shirt and sash (the costume is called "choot loy chai"), walk in front of the 'Songkran beauty queen'. The fish and birds are released as an act of merit to ward off bad luck and bring prosperity.

Each year the Phra Pradaeng Songkran parade features between 10 to 20 processions. Each procession is made up of a Songkran vehicle decorated with beautiful flowers. The vehicle of the lead procession transports the incumbent Miss Songkran surrounded by her entourage. She is seated and holds a replica of the severed head of the Lord Tao Maha Songkran. The procession also includes a file of graceful girls dressed in traditional Thai-Raman costumes. Some of them hold a fishbowl; others hold a birdcage and the remainder walk ahead of the Songkran vehicle. They in turn are flanked by Raman youths dressed in Choot Loy Chai costumes, consisting of a sarong, round-necked shirt and scarf which is worn with the tails dangling behind. The men's job is to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

The procession of the Tao Maha Songkran "head" is a unique aspect of the Phra Padaeng Songkran celebrations. According to ancient beliefs, there was once a kind and benevolent god who cared greatly for mankind. His name was Tao Maha Songkran. He had seven daughters, each one a goddess representing a day of the week. The annual Miss Songkran winner is seen holding the head of Lord Tao Maha Songkran, (also known as Tao Mahapraphrom) - a gesture believed to bring good fortune to mankind.

Noted for the continued preservation of ancient customs and traditions, the Songkran festival at Phra Pradaeng is no less of an attraction and draws local and overseas tourists alike.

Contact information:
Phra Pradaeng Municipality
Please contact the Education Section
Tel: +66 (0) 463 4841 Ext. 129-130

 
 

โดย: ORIGINS OF THE PHRA PRADAENG SONGKRAN FESTIVAL IP: 124.120.92.141 วันที่: 25 เมษายน 2549 เวลา:20:25:18 น.  

 
 
 
On the beach in Bang Saen, Siracha district, Chon Buri province

The Songkran celebrations in the Saensuk district Chon Buri province are of particular interest as the festivities reflect the local culture and environment. With no shortage of sand to build sand-stupas, the stupa building contest is a predominant element of the Songkran festivities in Chon Buri.

Residents of the each of the villages in the district gather together to take part in community Buddhist merit-making. Monks are invited to conduct merit-making ceremonies and rituals, whilst local residents present merit-making offerings and sprinkle scented lustral water on Buddha images in a Songkran Thai New Year bathing ritual. Families pay respect to elderly relatives and other respected individuals by pouring scented lustral water over the hands.

Festival highlights include the 'Kong Kao' religious ritual, rarely seen folk games and traditional Thai sports, cockfighting - a popular local sport, the Siracha Miss Songkran beauty pageant and Siracha Songkran Parade.

Contact information:
TAT Central Region Office: Region 3
Tel: +66 (0) 3842 7667, (0) 3842 8750
Fax: +66 (0) 3842 9113
E-mail: tatchon@tat.or.th
 
 

โดย: APRIL 16 - 17, 2006 IP: 124.120.92.141 วันที่: 25 เมษายน 2549 เวลา:20:26:52 น.  

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