Thai New Year
May is finally here and has graced us with a few 80 degree days! I have officially brought out my summer clothes and packed away my big sweaters. It's the perfect time for walks in the park, exploring and festivals!
The first festival of the year for me was the Thai and Cambodian New Year Festival, aka Songkran. This year it began on April 13th and ended on the 15th. The festival is always during the weekend any my family attends the festival at our temple on Sunday. Since it's in the middle of spring, we always have to keep an eye out for the weather. For a few years it has rained on the Sunday and since everything is outside we haven't made it.
Similar to pasts years, the forecast called for rain on Sunday. I refused to miss yet another festival so I checked to see if the Cambodian temple was holding their event on Saturday and they were! I'm not Cambodian but they have really similar traditions and I wanted to see how their event compared to the one I'm used to.
Both events have food, shows and vendors where you can buy clothes, jewelry and all types of things. Ri requested a sarong so I made sure I found one out of the many vendors that sold them. Sarongs are long skirts that are honestly the most comfortable pieces of clothing I have ever worn. One day I'll have a huge collection but until then I have a beautiful purple one.
Near the temple, people were participating in the religious traditions like pouring holy water onto a Buddha statue, burning incense and receiving a blessing from a monk. The monk that blessed me was super tatted which I loved. I think it's great how becoming a monk doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. My mother told me that many men become monks for an amount of time kind of like a right of passage. Even my grandmother was a monk at one time.
Excuse my ultra awkward smile in the picture. This lovely lady was a part of the event which is why she's all decked out. I just have my sarong and traditional belt that's worn around the waist (and the only reason my sarong stayed up the whole time). It was a beautiful festival and I'm so happy that the Cambodian temple came to the rescue. Hopefully, next year won't have rain and I can go to my temple.
New Year is the only event I go to within my culture but I wish there were more. My mother's side doesn't attend anything else either so I'm pretty out of the loop.
Let me know about your culture! What is your favorite event or holiday?