Songkran, det thailandske nytår

The Cultural Values of the Songkran Festival are expressed through the various ceremonies and rituals:

  1. The first cultural value is ‘Thanksgiving’ – The demonstration of gratitude and an expression of thanks to individuals who have have ‘done good’ or shown goodwill and are worthy of respect and recognition. Thanksgiving is demonstrated in ceremonial aspects of Songkran such as the bathing of Buddha statues with lustral water and the pouring of lustral water over the hands of elders and respected individuals, and other outward demonstration of respect.
  2. The second cultural value is Loyalty to Ancestors. This is achieved through merit-making.
  3. The third cultural value focuses on the an individual’s sense of awareness of his/her responsibilities towards the family and home. It is demonstrated via the traditional custom of ‘spring cleaning’.
  4. The fourth value addresses the Value of Religion and highlights the well-defined roles and responsibilities of the “temples and monasteries” on the one hand and the community served by the religious institution.

(TAT, revised by Robert Kronberg)

På dansk og kort fortalt er songkran det thailandske nytår, som typisk falder den 15. april, men starter den 13. Officielt har Thailand overtaget det vesterlandske nytår den 1. januar, men har fastholdet deres tidsregning, som i år (2005) er 2548 efter Buddhas død.

I songkran tager mange Thaiere hjem til deres familier, især hvis de bor langt fra hinanden. På gaderne vil turisten typisk opleve en masse vandpjaskeri, og at man smører hvidt pulver på hinandens ansigter.

Det er et temperamentspørgsmål, om man bryder sig om at gå på gaderne under songkran…

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