April is a busy month
April is a busy time at Openmind Projects! We welcome young and energetic campers to our Center in Thailand and also enthusiastic volunteers from overseas and our local volunteers too, our camper and trainee alumni!
It is also busy and hot times for Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia since the Buddhist world is celebrating Pimai, the Buddhist New Year or Songkhran as its called in Thailand!
Do you know why this is the time when you can spend a day in between the last day of the old year and the first day of the new?
If not, read on, find out!
Sabai Dee Pimai
Songkran, Pimai, the Buddhist New Year, is celebrated across Southeast Asia each April and is an amazing mix of tradition and water splashing. Pi Mai Songkran is celebrated every year from April 13 to April 15 but celebrations go on for more days. This also is the hottest time of the year.
Hot, hotter, hottest
Celebrations mean water and flour throwing. With the temperature rising as high as 40C, 105°F, April is the hottest month which is why the water fights are so popular. It’s the best way to cool off, so water has become the staple of the holiday. Over the years, it has evolved from gentle water splashing at family and friends to a full-blown water war. Water is however still used for washing homes, parents and Buddha images in temples.
During Songkhran, there are many activities going on everywhere on top of the water fighting. Travelers enjoy it all, the music, the dancing and the beauty pageants with all the pretty young women and ladyboys!
Join a local friend and go to the temple too, where people pay their respect and hope to have a healthy and happy life in the new year.
Have you ever celebrated new year in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Myanmar, share your experience with our readers!
video by volunteer Renee
And the answer is
The first day is the last day of the old year.
The second day is the day of NO YEAR!
And the last day marks the start of the new year.