The Songkran Festival in Hua Hin took place on 13 April 2008. There was a big crowd of villagers on Naresdamri Road participating in the Hua Hin Songkran Festival. They were lead by the President advisor of the Fishing Village Club Mr. Siriwut Phongphaiboon and President of Committee of the Club Mr. Nanthaphol Thaolipo. Both have presided over Hua Hin Songkran Festival.
Hua Hin Songkran Festival was started with offering alms to 109 Buddhist novices as the local tradition. Then elderly persons were invited to pour water on their hands and to ask them for blessing. In the evening all of the people have gathered together on the beach to watch games such as tug-of-war, Mon Son Pha (the game of hiding cloth at one’s back and run to your place when he knows that cloth is left behind him) and so on.
One of the most amusing games was “Tee Chab” which was played by dividing two teams with a single line to indicate each safety zone. Each team must try to touch any members of the opposite team as many as possible by saying “Rrrrrrr…” without stopping while touching others in opposite zone. When you nearly run out of “Rrrrrr…..”, you must get back to your zone as quickly as possible to prevent from being touched by the opponents. The team left with the most members would win this game. This game was really popular in the past and it was played again by the Thais and foreigners during this year Hua Hin Songkran Festival.
Songkran Festival is the Thai traditional New Year taking place on April 13 of every year. On this day, the younger people will visit their elder relatives with a metal bowl floated with colorful petals, scented candles and “a small branch of pomegranate tree” for sprinkling over elderly persons to express their good wishes. Most of elderly persons will bless them back and give them a handkerchief or some mascots in return. As soon as the people finish their auspicious ceremonies and their lunch, they will prepare their water containers and scented powder in front of their houses in the hope of gently pouring water over those who pass by and bless each other. Nowadays, the purpose of the festival has been changed. Most of youngsters do not use a small bowl to gently pour water over, but they use a rubber tube and high-pressure water guns to have fun. So that the beautiful festival derived from the ancestors has been gradually changed.
Songkran Festival has existed for thousand years and the Thai people presently adhere to what their elderly relatives did in the past. Most of those youngsters under 20 only perceive that the festival is the festive day to spray water and powder on whoever passes by. This is the day that boys can spray water on their favorite girl.
On 15 April 2008 the Hua Hin Foundation will also hold a deity parading ceremony. Before the ceremony take place, the Committees of Fishing Village Club will invite Hua Hin residents to make merit by offering alms to monks. Then Gods and Goddesses will be paraded along the road giving a chance to people to donate money for the foundation. Last year the foundation has managed collect almost one million bath. The money was used to help poor children get education, AIDS patients at the Phrabat Namphu Temple. The temple looks after many AIDS patients and does not receive any support from the Government, except from villagers.
Reported by Khun Tuck Dechapanya
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