Student Blog

Thai Festival “A Window to the World from APU”

2min read

Celebrating the New Year with Enthusiastic Water Play

I met Mook, a charming Thai person with a beautiful smile, through my roommate in Malaysia where I was studying abroad. I asked Mook how they spend the New Year's holidays in their home country.

Wat Phra Kaew, the prestigious temple in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ms. Mizuho Ueno, visiting from the neighboring country of Malaysia.

In Thailand, there are three New Year celebrations: the Gregorian Calendar New Year, the Chinese New Year, and the Thai New Year, which is celebrated according to the Thai solar calendar. Among them, the Thai New Year, known as Songkran, is celebrated uniquely over three days from April 13th to 15th, with a festival called the "water splashing festival."

The word "Songkran" comes from Sanskrit, meaning "to move," symbolizing the transition to the New Year according to the solar calendar.

In Japan, New Year's is traditionally a relaxed time for visiting relatives and making shrine visits. In Thailand, where about 90% of the population is Buddhist, there is a tradition of cleansing Buddha statues and elders by pouring water over them on New Year's Day. From there, it evolved into a lively festival where people, regardless of their relationship, splash water on each other to celebrate the New Year, which is especially refreshing given that April is midsummer in Thailand.

Mook, who was unable to return to Bangkok for 3 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shared their experiences with enthusiasm, reminiscing about past Songkran celebrations.

Thailand is often called the "Land of Smiles." Through Songkran, they welcome the new year with smiles. I hope to visit Thailand during my time in Malaysia and experience Songkran firsthand.

PHOKEO Supanan
Nickname: Mook
College of Asia Pacific Studies, 4th year

Published in the morning edition of the Oita Godo Shimbun on December 20, 2023

Mizuho Ueno
Mizuho Ueno

Hello, everyone! My name is Mizuho, and I am a 4th year student in the College of Asia Pacific Studies. My hobbies are dancing, getting in touch with nature, and playing with animals! I used to do aikido, so I'm strong! :) I hope to interact with many people through SPA activities!

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