Earlier this month, I attended a Songkran Festival celebration held here in California. Also known as the Water Festival, the Songkran Festival celebrates Thailand’s New Year and is usually a time for self reflection and spiritual homage. The Songkran Festival takes place in Thailand every year between April 13th and 15th, but the fun festivities, which include friendly street water fights, can last for several weeks!
Although I haven’t had the chance to go to Thailand for the New Year festivities, I always look forward to the local Songkran Festival that happens here in my local area. I still get to experience the beautiful culture, traditional clothing and food, fruit carvings and yes, even the water fights! So I wanted to share with you some of the fun that we had at the local Songkran Festival.
Thai Culture and Traditions were Honored at the Songkran Festival Event
It was wonderful to experience Thai culture and traditions at the Songkran Festival celebration. The traditional Thai costumes, music and dancing were beautiful and the spiritual festivities were an honor to witness. Here are a few photos I’d like to share with you from the Songkran Festival:
Water is a significant part of the Songkran Festival, as you can see from the above photos. The gentle pouring of water on people and religious statues during the Songkran Festival is seen as a sign of respect and is believed to bring good blessings for the New Year.
This concept has taken on a fun and playful evolution through the years. Today, traditional water fights happen on the streets all over Thailand during the Songkran Festival. Here is a short video of the friendly water fights that broke out during our local Songkran Festival celebration:
Lovely Fruit Carvings at the Songkran Festival
One of the Thai traditions at the Songkran Festival included, of course, Thai fruit carvings. The ladies of the Temple Wat Buddhajakramongkolratanaram, including my carving teachers, made lots of lovely artistic fruit displays for the event. Have a look!The first three photos show the fruit carving arrangement made by my wonderful teacher, Tammy Sterrit. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me.
The beautiful daikon bird carving was made by Montana Quebedeaux:
In the next two carvings by Nujarin Tanawat (Noot), you can see some unique variations of melon flowers:
I am not sure which of the lovely and talented ladies of the Temple Wat Buddhajakramongkolratanaram carved the following carvings in the photos. They most likely include the carvings of my wonderful and talented teachers Tym Chaipanya and Tammy Sterrit as well as Tina LeBien, Chitra Stevens, Krong Na-Songkhla, Nujarin Tanawat, Montana Quebedeaux and perhaps a few more I might be forgetting.
Aren’t they stunning? There were so many other beautiful carvings at the Songkran Festival that represented the beauty of Thai culture.
Check out the Wet and Wild Fun at the Songkran Festival in Thailand
The Songkran Festival I attended involved some water play which was a lot of fun, but check out this photo of how it’s done in Thailand!
If you want to know a little more about the Thai New Year or plan to go to Thailand during the festivities, check out my previous blog post about the Songkran Festival (also known as the Water Festival) to see what you’re up against!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the Songkran Festival, and that seeing the fruit carving photos gave you inspiration for your own carving pursuits.