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02 Aug 2017 85 views
 
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photoblog image The Wall #3

The Wall #3

Songkran is a one-week Nation-wide festival, generally viewed by Foreigners as a continuous chaotic water-fight.

 

It wasn't always that way and, in up-country villagers such as the one where I now live, The rituals of Songkran may still be seen much as shown in this composite scene.

 

Here you can see monks overlooking, and sometime directing, activities that generally involve a strengthening of community bonds. On the right, a man and a woman are gently dousing a Buddha icon in sweetly scented water, while murmuring wishes for good luck, a reliable monsoon season and a bountiful rice harvest. The group on the left are participating in [what I think is] an ancient Khmer Ritual celebrating the fertility of the soil.

 

The whole of our Village comes together at Songkran, meeting under a specially erected Sala [wall-less roofed shelter], meeting for most of a night and the following day...monks attend twice, and offer chants for about 2 hours, and receive various alms and gifts from the people...land is dug from South, West and North of the Sala, and carried to the East where it is mounded high, formed into a sand-castle and decorated with bright flowers from village gardens [when the monks are not present I see numerous rituals that I might describe as totemistic or pagan]...people bring lots of food to share, and someone [perhaps Na] pays for the local ice-cream maker to bring his cart and offer "free" ice-creams to everyone...good-fortune flags are raised on tall bamboo poles, accompanied by loud chants and whoops. There is a bit of water-pistol action around the fringes.

The Wall #3

Songkran is a one-week Nation-wide festival, generally viewed by Foreigners as a continuous chaotic water-fight.

 

It wasn't always that way and, in up-country villagers such as the one where I now live, The rituals of Songkran may still be seen much as shown in this composite scene.

 

Here you can see monks overlooking, and sometime directing, activities that generally involve a strengthening of community bonds. On the right, a man and a woman are gently dousing a Buddha icon in sweetly scented water, while murmuring wishes for good luck, a reliable monsoon season and a bountiful rice harvest. The group on the left are participating in [what I think is] an ancient Khmer Ritual celebrating the fertility of the soil.

 

The whole of our Village comes together at Songkran, meeting under a specially erected Sala [wall-less roofed shelter], meeting for most of a night and the following day...monks attend twice, and offer chants for about 2 hours, and receive various alms and gifts from the people...land is dug from South, West and North of the Sala, and carried to the East where it is mounded high, formed into a sand-castle and decorated with bright flowers from village gardens [when the monks are not present I see numerous rituals that I might describe as totemistic or pagan]...people bring lots of food to share, and someone [perhaps Na] pays for the local ice-cream maker to bring his cart and offer "free" ice-creams to everyone...good-fortune flags are raised on tall bamboo poles, accompanied by loud chants and whoops. There is a bit of water-pistol action around the fringes.

comments (14)

i like this one Ray... some prayer and some play....petersmile
Ray: Up-country Thai culture is a bit like that, Peter.
The best part that I read was how it brings the villagers together, Ray. We need more rituals/traditions like this.
Ray: Community-building is a big aspect of up-country rituals, Ginnie.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 2 Aug 2017, 06:43
Sounds like you live in a happy ritualistic playground Ray!
Ray: Sounds like a good description of it, Chris.
Never a dull moment with all this sort of activity going, lucky you.
Ray: Life is good, Martin.
Toujours aussi beau. J'aime beaucoup les couleurs.
Ray: Les costumes traditionnels thaïlandais sont très colorés, Martine.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 2 Aug 2017, 08:01
Its lovely to hear of such traditions and Na's part in helping the fun. I somehow knew that monks would be there should food and gifts be involved.
Ray: Receiving alms and gifts is one of the main roles/activities of the monks, Alan.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 2 Aug 2017, 08:07
Humans are incredible really Ray, just look at the traditions and ceremonies that we create.
Ray: Such a pity that much of our ceremonies is nonsense, Chad.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 2 Aug 2017, 09:49
Perhaps as Pagan Britain once was
Ray: I expect you are quite accurate in this observation, Lisl.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 2 Aug 2017, 12:01
With a lot of water being splashed about, I can see how it gets out of hand with the younger crowd.
Ray: Ha ha

Even the oldies can get a bit carried away, Louis.
Sounds like a good get together which does nobody any harm
Ray: Very healthy behaviour for the communities, Bill.
I like your narrative description Ray, the tiles themselves also tell the story don't they.
Ray: The panels are very good, Brian, and I was delighted to find them.
Fascinating stuff, Ray!
Ray: I think so too, Tom.
i prefer the gentle water dousing to the water fights, Ray. nice broccoli-trees on this panel.
Ray: I admit to having a similar preference, Ayush.
Perhaps the people on the left are making the mound for the flowers.
Ray: Oh yes...this is as you say, Mary.

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