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 last year’s 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
As for the Lao/Thais, the new year has just begun, at Leaps ‘n Bounce, we are moving into the year of the Tiger, a turbulent year and a year of change. I keep telling myself that change is good, and if it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger and sometimes I have to view life from a different perspective.
The Songkran Festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day, which originally was celebrated only in the north of Thailand, and was probably brought there by the Burmese who adapted it from the Indian Holi festival. It is also known as the water festival in Laos and Thailand. The term Songkran comes from Sanskrit ‘Sankranta,’ which means ‘a move or change’ and in this case, the move of the sun into the Aries zodiac.
As for our family, it is a tradition to visit our local Wat (Buddhist Temple) to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and offer food to the monks. These were last year’s photos, I’m hoping to be able to do a video and photos this year.
A tradition of building Jaydee Cide or sand stupas is another thing that I’m looking forward to and it is still very fascinating to me. When you do build one, make sure you make a wish and donate the good merits to your passed loved ones, a remembrance of them on this special day.