Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei government helps celebrate Thailand festival

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In celebration of the Thai Buddhist New Year "Songkran" holiday this week, the Taipei City Government yesterday urged the public to join the city's Thai residents in festivities in Ximending -- but warned that participants should prepare to get wet.

The festival -- which the Thai government has renamed "Sadnam Krairon" or "Splash Water" festival -- is held annually in April. Participants splash water into the air and at each other to signify the washing away of sins and rancor, and to symbolically refresh their environment as the scorching weather of summer arrives.

Thai people also pay respect to their elders during the festivities by mixing a traditional powder called Din So Pong into the water and pouring scented water onto their elders' hands.

The Taipei City Government is promoting the festival as a multicultural activity to bring Thai and Taiwanese residents together. The festivities begin at 12:30pm today in front of the Red Playhouse in Ximending.

Visitors will be able to enjoy Thai food, listen to traditional Thai music and watch a Thai dance performance.

Splashing water at each other at a press conference promoting the festivities, Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs Director Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴) and Civil Affairs Department Director Huang Lu Chin-ru (黃呂錦茹) said they expected the festival to attract 3,000 Thai residents.

"Almost all Thai laborers work for major public construction projects and make many contributions to our country. We want to give them a chance to relax and enjoy their holidays at the festival," Su said.

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