Happy New Year (for the third time) Songkran!

Posted on April 9th, 2009 by Gareth inThailand

“Happy New Year”

This was said to me at midnight on 31st December by my family members from England while we celebrated in the Philippines.

It was said to me again on 26 January by my family members from China (mother in law, brother in law, sisters in law, nieces and of course my wife) over a huge plate of ‘zhao zi’ or dumplings, although it was said in Chinese ‘Xin nian kuai le’

I’ve just had it said to me again by all my work colleagues here in Thailand this morning.

So for the next week or so its SongKran. This is the biggest festival of the year in Thailand. It consists (as far as I can see) of throwing water everywhere and shouting ‘happy new year’.

This morning we all turned up in our compulsary loud, flowery shirts, had a prayer ceremony at 7am outside the factory (as you all do each day right?) and gave our food parcels to the local Monks. My wife only let me give them this on the strict understanding they wouldn’t be misbehaving like they do in Lhasa. There was so much food donated it had to go into a pick up truck as the elephants panniers filled up pretty quick – there’s never a spare elephant around when you need one is there?

Now for the next 4 or 5 days everyone has a good time, plays jokes on each other and throw lots and lots of water over each other.

image_121    image_118

Clearly I am going to have to do my best to try and enjoy this, but 2 weeks off work surrounded by lots of young ladies in wet T shirts will certainly go a long way to help. Some snorkeling & SCUBA diving off Koh Chang combined with lots of fresh sea food and copious amounts of beer will also come in handy.

Certainly having 3 new years and 3 new years holidays is the way forward in my book. More Songkran info here for your general interest!

No loaded question at the end of the post today, just happy new year to you all and if I could lob some water at you I most certainly would.

Kap khun krup, xie xie, thanks.

12 Responses to “Happy New Year (for the third time) Songkran!”

  1. Jim says:

    Happy New Year Gareth!

    3 times a lady eh – I’m lol’d at your:

    ‘Clearly I am going to have to do my best to try and enjoy this, but 2 weeks off work surrounded by lots of young ladies in wet T shirts will certainly go a long way to help.’

    AND the mention of fleurs.
    Does it ever kick off during Songkran to an unsuspecting tourist or is it all good natured banter?

    • it’s all good natured although things are a little tense with all the ASEAN protests, took me half an hour & 4 army roadblocks to get tto my house tonight as I live next door to the Royal Cliff resort where it’s being held. And my view is spoiled by Thai navy gunships in the bay to stop marine attacks.

  2. Happy New Year Gareth!!!
    *large water ballon thrown at Gareth…makes target score!!*

  3. Sal Mubarak Gareth!

    That is happy new year in Gujarati and Hindi.

    You can celebrate the Indian New Year’s Day later this year in November :-)

  4. Hilary says:

    It’s really good to hear the three customs … I’d give the water throwing a miss I think – still a bit cold here!

    The monks certainly seem to be given a fair amount – enough to keep them going for a while .. – do they use the donations themselves .. or give them out as alms?

    Enjoy your holiday ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  5. Fertile Fish says:

    Aaaaaaah some things never change…….

    Not contented with one (or two, if you are medium well travelled) good old GIT goes for three!

    Well done Big Fella!!!

    Tell you what, I read that post you wrote about something or other earlier on. Was that a photo of you with the oriental fella? Did you stand next to him so you’d look tall?

    I just can’t believe you suffer from small man syndrome (really, no honestly, that’s true) you’ll always be a big guy to me…….

    Snigger snigger snigger arf arf arf snigger

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