Lao Folktales, Lao Tradition, Thai Tradition

Sok Dee Pee Mai and Happy New Year

Today is the start of the water festival in Laos and Thailand. This is a story told in Laos to explain why Lao people pour water on each other on the New Year in the fifth Lunar month. The story is called Nang Sangkaan.

The origin of the parade of Nang Sangkaan is not Buddhist, but Brahmanism. Later, Lao people changed the tradition, but kept the idea of carrying the Buddha images and respected persons in the procession and pouring water on them. This video was made for 2009 Lao New Year, and originally posted here.

Video by ArnuShawn
Translated and description by Nye Noona
Narrated by Mr. Akkasith
Photo by Siriphone Shields and Kevin Borland

10 thoughts on “Sok Dee Pee Mai and Happy New Year”

    1. Thanks seeharhed, Shawn did a great job on the video. Tai Mueng Luang accent was kind of hard to understand at times, but I managed and just don’t read it too closely. 🙂

  1. Happy Lao New Year Nye!

    Btw, how would you translate “Sok Dee Pee Mai” to English? I’m thinking it’s “Wishing you much good luck in the new year”. 🙂

    1. Thanks Cambree. I guess if translated word by word then it’s ‘good luck new year’, but your translation has a nicer ring to it. When we were little we used to say ‘souk suan wan pee mai’, loosely translated as Happy New Year.

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