Thailand’s traditional New Year, as known as Songkran, is celebrated on April 13 to 15 every year. It is a time when people splash or spray one another with water, to symbolize washing away the old and welcoming the new.
The word Songkran derives from the Sanskrit word for “passage” or “cross over,” representing moving into a new year. Songkran is also celebrated in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
Known by the Taiwanese as the “splashing festival,” Songkran conjures up images of street water fights, with participants using water pistols or buckets. It originated from a traditional Buddhist ritual, and the water represents purification and blessing.
Songkran is about more than water fights. Traditionally, Thais also go to Buddhist temples to donate money or goods to the temple or monks during the festival, and the monks sprinkle holy water, symbolizing blessings, on them. People also bathe statues of the Buddha by pouring water over them. Thais will also sprinkle water in the hands of family elders, symbolizing respect and the receipt of the elders’ blessings.
Miss Songkran beauty contests are also held throughout Thailand, as a way to preserve traditional Thai costumes.
There are around 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan. Of these, just over 60,000 are from Thailand.
In order to make Thai workers in Taiwan feel at home, Songkran was celebrated on Sunday at the ASEAN Square in Taichung, organized by the Ministry of Labor and the Taichung government. There will be another Songkran celebration held this coming Sunday at City Hall Square in New Taipei City.
(Translated by Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
1. Songkran n.
宋干節；潑水節 (song4 gan1 jie2; po1 shui3 jie2)
2. splash v.
潑水 (po1 shui3)
3. spray v.
噴水 (pen1 shui3)
4. purification n.
淨化 (jing4 hua4)
5. blessing n.
祝福 (zhu4 fu2)
6. sprinkle v.
灑水 (sa2 shui3)
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Armed with buckets and bailers, hoes and sickles, 100 elderly residents of Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township Old Bridge Landscape Volunteer Association set off from Ox Pen Riverside Park to carry out a clean-up operation upstream and downstream of Dongan Old Bridge. The volunteers first set about removing weeds and cleaning up litter, and then began planting trees, flowers and plants. To date, the group has planted more than 3,000 specimens. The volunteers did not put their feet up during the Lunar New Year holiday period and took turns to patrol the area and water and tend to the plants and
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