Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Songkran

This was Songkran two years ago in Chiang Mai.  It's a holiday in the hot season where in the temples the Buddha's are washed and in the streets everyone is washed.

This was Mt. Juneau yesterday from the State Office Building.

And here's the same view with a little perspective - the yellow building in front is the Juneau Douglas City Museum.  The brick building on the right is the Capitol.  We'd had snow, but what little stuck had melted.  These mountain views right smack in downtown are a reason Juneau's so spectacularly beautiful.

This morning from our window.  And below is a letter I received yesterday from the Thai Buddhist Temple in Anchorage.  This year's Songkran festival is Sunday.  We won't be back yet, but others who might be interested should go.  I know it can be intimidating to go to a religious ceremony you know nothing about.  But trust me, you will quickly feel at home.  Just remember that you take your shoes off before going into the Wat (temple.)  You may also be expected to sit on the floor.  And you should leave a bill or two on the money tree.  And you may want to practice the 'wai' putting your palms together at your chest and dipping your head slightly as you can see the people doing in the picture with the monk below.  Just copy the Thais and Laos there.  If you don't do it perfectly no one will be offended.  They will be delighted that you tried. 

I don't think at the Wat people will be splashing you with water.  It will be more solemn.  Here are a couple more pictures from Chiang Mai's Songkran in 2008. There's more explanation of the religious aspects of the holiday at the link. 

The Wat in Anchorage is on D just off of Fireweed.  If you live in another city that has a Thai Buddhist temple, check when they celebrate.  I promise you a very wonderful experience.  Just remember to take off your shoes when you go inside.  People will be coming and going all day, so it doesn't really matter when you get there.

1 comment:

  1. This year in thailand have the red songkran


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