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is the most important feast for Thai people. Often called "water festival",
Songkran is the ancient Thai New Year's Day happening mid-April.
Nowadays the official Thai New Year's Day happens the 1st January.
PAYING RESPECT TO ELDERS
Adults and children pay respect to elders by pouring water (รดน้ำ)
on their hands. They also wash the feet of elders.
Neighbours pay respect to elderly neighbours, son-in-law pays respect to mother-in-law,
children pay respect to their parents... This is Songkran time.
While pouring water on hands, relatives do give blessing to elder people
by saying auspicious words on longevity and health.
A graceful greeting ("WAI" - ไหว้)
is then given.
PAYING RESPECT TO ANCESTORS
During Songkran festival, Thai families visit cemetaries in order to pay respect to
Donations such as soft drink bottles, water bottle, fruits,
flowers, rice are given to ancestors.
A Buddhist monk is present and prayers are told in order to give merit to
Thai people do kneel and pray while the monk is reciting prayers.
Tombs are also cleaned by Thai people during Songkran festival.
BUDDHIST TEMPLE CEREMONY
Flower garlands ("PHUANG MALAI" - พวงมาลัย) are placed
on a table. Jasmine flower is the symbol for love and respect.
Bags are ready on the long table. Once the ceremony is over, gifts to elderly people will be given.
The main pavilion ("SALA" - ศาลา) is full today.
Many villagers come to listen to Buddhist sermon on Songkran day.
Songkran is an important day so many people wear their best
clothes on that day.
Once the sermon is over, people go to the lower part of the pavillion and
give alms to Buddhist monks (ตักบาตร or "TAK BAT").
People queue in front of a big table and offer rice for the monks.
On the upper part of the pavillion, Thai people offer food to the Buddhist monks.
Girls and ladies cannot give directly food to the monks as they
cannot touch them. So they place the food on a small mat for the monk to retrieve it.
Buddhists monks are rapidly surrounded by many delicious dishes. Nothing is lost as the
remaining dishes are shared with Thai people joining the Songkran day.
Once the meal is over, it is time to pay respect to monks and elders.
All the village elders are sitting and waiting for the other villagers to pay respect to them.
Villagers are queuing and start to pay respect to monks by pouring water on their hands.
Hundreds of people are queuing.
Buddhist monks do hold flower garlands in their hands while people are puring water
on their hands.
Once Thai people have poured water on Buddhist monks' hands, then they queue to pour
water on the elders' hands.
While pouring water on hands, Thai people do give blessing to elder people
by saying auspicious words on longevity and health
Once the ceremony is over, some people start to play and splash water on each
Of course children are always the first one to play with water. Most kids have
their water gun ready.
Thai Buddhist monks do pay respect to Buddha statues by pouring lustral water on them.