Taweethapisek School, Bangkok
Saipanya School, Bangkok
By Taweethapisek School, Bangkok
Songkran Festival is on 13th April and ends on 15th April. Its full name is Maha Songkran or Major Songkran but people call “Songkran”. It is their traditional New Year when they can enjoy their holidays to the full with no economic hindrance.
How to celebrate Songkran : Early on the first day of Songkran, the 13th April, the people both young and old in their new clothing go to the Wat or monastery belonging to their village or district to offer food to the monks there. A long table is erected in the compound of the Wat where monk's alms bowls stand in a row on either side of the table. Into the alms bowls the gathering people put boiled rice and into the covers of the alms bowls, food, fruits and sweetmeats. Such a performance can be seen at the Wats outside Bangkok on Songkran Day. While the monks partake of their feast, music sometimes is played to celebrate the occasion. Or some families have parties in their home. On 12th April, they clean their home and burn all the refuse. When the Songkran come to, they invite their relatives and they enjoy together. In the morning, they will have dinner, they are very happy.
Water fight : Although Songkran officially starts on 13th April, some people like to get the festivities off to an early start. After all, four days isn't usually enough time for a water fight.
Building sand pagodas in temples : On 13th April, some temples have a festival. Boys, girls and young go to the temple which is near their home, then they start to make a sand pagoda something like a pyramid. A coin and a leaf of the religious fig tree will be buried inside the sand pagoda. When finished, the pagoda is sprinkled with scented water and decorated with flags and banners. The base of the pagoda is then covered with a small piece of yellow or red cloth. Lighted candles and joss sticks and flowers are stuck around the sand pagoda as an offering. Some of these pagodas, usually the big ones, are beautifully decorated with miniature ceremonial latticed fences surrounding them.
Loy means to float and Krathong means leaf bowl. This festival of Thailand has been coming from the Kingdom of Sukhothai. They call this festival LoyPra Prateep or Loy Khom. This is the tradition for Thai people to celebrate it.
Nang Nophamas or Toa Sri Chulalucna, wife of King PraRuang, had invented and changed the shape of Khom (a floating lamp) into Krathong Dork Bua (a floating thing which was shape like a lotus). In that time, they do this festival to adore the Footprint of Buddha at Nammathanatee River in India.
At present, Loy Krathong is as same as in the past. When the full moon night comes in November, the people will prepare the Krathong from natural materials and decorate it as beautifully as they can do. After putting the candles and incense sticks they will go to the river, put the Krathong in the water and pray for the things that they want and apologize to Pra Mae Kongka (the mother of Kongka means the Goddess of Water).
In this festival, the temple will be full of temple fairs, Krathong contest, Nang Nophamas contest and Bhuddhist activities. In addition we should be careful of the fireworks.
Festival Buddhist Lent
Buddhist Lent starts on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month. The tradition of Buddhist Lent, or the annual three-month rains retreat known in Thai as "Phansa", dates back to the time of early Buddhism in ancient India. All holy men and sages spent three months of the rainy season in permanent dwellings.
The day means the day on which the Buddhist monks take the vow to stay only at one particular place or temple which can shelter them from the sun, storms and rain.
During the Buddhist Lent, laypeople refrain from bad actions in particular drinking alcohol, taking drugs or leading an in appropriate life. During the Buddhist Lent, the laymen acquire merit, observe five or eight precepts, listen to sermons and sit in meditation in temples.
On Buddhist Lent Day, Buddhist worshippers go to the temple, offer food and others necessities to the monks, and attend three-round candle procession around the Buddhist temple.
By Saipanya School, Bangkok
The festival "Loi Krathong" is a religious event that happens every year on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (first full moon day of November). All Thai people buy or make a "Krathong". It is made of Styrofoam (bad choice as it is not biodegradable) surrounded by banana leaves, with flowers and a candle at the middle. Then in the evening, Thai people go to places where there is a river, a pound to launch their Krathong. In ancient times, this ceremony was to excuse one-self to the spirit of the river and to let float one's sins away. An old Thai proverb says that "When a boy and a girl are launching a Krathong together they will be lovers this life or next life". According to an another Thai custom, people must keep their eyes on their Krathong until it drifted out of sight as there is a belief that the longer the candle is burning, the better the next year will be. People, who are not skilled enough to make it, can buy it in many small shops. "Loi Krathong" happens everywhere in Thailand. In touristy places like Sukhotai and Ayuthaya, the festival is highly famous. Often there is an election of Miss "Loi Krathong". Women are dressed in Thai traditional clothes.
Loy Krathong song :
wan-pen duean sip-sawng
nam gaw nawng dtem dtaling
rao tung-laai chai-ying
sanook gun jing wun loy kratong
loy loy kratong
loy loy kratong
loy krathong kan laew
khaw choen nawngkaew
awk maa ramwong
ramwong wan loy krathong
ramwong wan loy krathong
bun ja song hai rao sukjai
bun ja song hai rao sukjai
The King’s Birthday (Father’s Day)
The King's birthday is a public holiday. Father's Day is on 5th December every year. Father's Day is also the King's birthday. The King is considered as the father of all Thai people. On that day people decorate their houses with flags and pictures of the King. The special flower on Father's Day is canna. His H.M. the King Rama IX is highly recognized among Thai society because he always takes care about his people. Each year he used to go up-country to visit villages and towns to talk to people and to know their problems. He is not a King far away from his people. He has created many foundations and has done many projects to improve the life of his people. On the 5th of December, Thai Buddhist people go to temple and make offerings to monks as usual.