We are here! We have reached the end of Term 2 and the Songkran holidays begin!
...I say this with a tinge of sadness and anxiety as Thailand enters another period of rising COVID cases. We all await news and information of the restrictions and safety measures that will be put in place over the holiday period.
Songkran is an important event in Thailand’s Buddhist calendar; it is a festival of water and marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’.
This year, the streets won’t be filled with crowds of people throwing buckets of water, neither will we see water pistols being used and the familiar trepidation of being absolutely soaked (and the thrill of soaking absolutely everyone one in the vicinity!) will be replaced with something quieter and more reflective to start the new year.
What remains the same however is family.
Appreciation of family is an important aspect of the festival, with many Thai people making their way to their home towns to spend time with relatives. Buddhists also visit temples throughout Songkran, where water is poured on Buddha images and on the hands of Buddhist monks as a mark of respect. It is a time to refresh, to revitalise and to reset the balance.
I wish you a positive and refreshing period of revitalisation and reset over the coming weeks: whether you are in Thailand and celebrating the festival or – for that matter - wherever you may be in the world.
What will this year bring we wonder? We have had so many challenges already. Nevertheless, I take solace in the knowledge we have all travelled through them together, we have built resilience together and we have learnt how to manage scenarios we never thought possible. We have seen the world from a totally different perspective…and sometimes, perhaps, that’s necessary. We will remain strong and hopeful.
I wish you a beautiful and graceful start to the year.
Happy Songkran Everyone!
sà-wàt-dee wan Songkran
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