Nontaya Srisawang - Rookie Blog Two

Sawasdee Ka (hello in Thai)

I'm now in the U.S. I just got here on the 12th of April. Right now in Thailand it's New Year 's Day. During this time, I normally get together with my family, but this year I have to do something different. I have to leave my home town again, but I don't like to leave during this time because it's a fun and happy time. When I was young, I used to wish for this month to hurry and arrive. Let me tell you about Thai's New Year - it takes place April 13-15. We call this time the Songkran Festival.

"Songkran" is the traditional Thai New Year and an occasion for family reunion. The festival falls on April 13, and the annual celebration is held throughout the kingdom. In fact, "Songkran" is a Thai word that means "move" or "change place" as it's the day when the sun changes its position in the zodiac. It is also known as the "Water Festival" as people believe that water will wash away bad luck.

This traditional Thai New Year begins with early morning merit-making offering of food to Buddhist monks and releasing caged birds to fly freely into the sky. During this auspicious occasion, any animals kept will be set free. Paying homage to one's ancestors is an important part of the day. People pay their respects to the elders by pouring scented water over the palms of their hands. In return, the elders wish the youngsters good luck and prosperity.

In the afternoon, after performing a bathing rite for Buddha images and the monks, the celebrants both young and old, joyfully splash water on each other. The most-talked-about celebration takes place in the northern province of Chiang Mai, where Songkran is celebrated from April 13 to 15. During this period, people from all parts of the country flock there to enjoy the water festival. When everyone sees each other, we say "Chock Dee Pee Mai". It's mean Good Luck and Happy New Year. So I want to say Chock dee pee mai to all of you, and in the mean time, please send your wishes to me Chock Dee Pee Mai for my tournaments in LPGA this year.

Bye

Nontaya

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