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2020-09-28 15:39

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Welcome to Wat Mongkolratanaram (also know as Wat Tampa). Happy New Year!

Let me start today by quoting to you a traditional Thai New Years wish: "By the power of the Buddhist Triple Gems: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha - May you and your family be blessed with good health, beautiful, prosperous, long life, and be successful in your career and in life for the New Year. May all of these blessings and all your wishes be fulfilled."

You might be surprised that January 1 is celebrated in Thailand as New Years Day. Thai celebrations are usually based on lunar calendar . There’s some interesting history about New Years in Thailand that I would like to share with you.

As you may surmise Thailand has not always celebrated New Years Day on January 1. In ancient times, New Years way the first day of the waning moon of the first lunar month. This means that New Years was celebrated on different days from year to year. In these times, New Years Day occurred in late November. During the reign of King Rama V (1868-1919) New Years day was changed twice; the last time New Years was celebrated in April. When Thailand became a constitutional monarchy New Years Day was officially changed to January 1.

With that said there are two other days that one might consider New Years. Because many of the people in Thailand are of Chinese descent, Chinese New Year 2019 (January 25, 2019) is also a time of celebration.

Remember that during the reign of Rama V, New Years was celebrated in April. Typical New Years activities in rural Thailand include exchanging gifts & greetings; water throwing (keep that in mind), building sand pagodas, and honoring elders. In rural Thailand April is a much better time to celebrate. January is too cold for many of these activities. It is also harvest time. April, on the other hand, is much better – the temperature is warmer and farmers are free from harvesting. Remember I said to remember water throwing. The water festival or Songkarn is sometimes referred to as Thai New Years. We will be celebrating Songkarn this year on April 10.

New Year Display for January 1, 2016

New Year Day

Buddhism In-Depth

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