Friday, 3 April 2009

Songkran Rituals

April 13 or Wan Sangkan Long 
Wan Sangkan Long means the old year passes by (Sangkan is derived from the word Songkran. Lanna people cannot pronounce double consonants. So Songkran is pronounced Sangkan; Pret is pronounced Pet; Krot is pronounced, Kot). According to the belief of the northern people, there are Kun Sangkan (a male) and Nang Songkran (a female). On New Year's Day (Sankan Long), a prediction will be announced, similar to the Songkran announcement of the Central Region; for example, "Sankan Long happens on Sunday with Kun Sangkan, riding on the Naga with a cloud in his hand, moving quickly from the west. Nang Songkran named Siri, holds a cannon, meaning there will be war. Insects will destroy the rice fields. Rain will be abundant. Cattle will fall ill. The wealthy will suffer. White Yang wood is the best quality wood. The spirit of rice lies in the bamboo. Those born on Tuesday will face problems. Those born on Saturday will have good fortune. Red objects and live beings will be costly. White objects will cost less."
April 14 is called, Wan Nao or Wan Da (preparation day)
Wan Nao or Wan Da is an auspicious day when everyone must be cheerful, and must not curse or behave badly. In the morning, food and offerings for the monks are prepared and then distributed to friends and relatives in the following morning. In the afternoon, sand is brought to the temple compounds and sand stupas are created as a form of worship to the Lord Buddha. Finally the time comes for gently splashing water at one another with a word of blessing.
April 15 is called, Wan Phaya Wan
Wan Phaya Wan is the most important day of the New Year celebration or the Wan Taleung Sok of the Central Region. There may also be 4 additional days of celebration: 15 April (Wan Pak Pi), 16 April (Wan Pak Deuan), 17 April (Wan Pak Wan), and 18 April (Wan Pak Yam). Wan Songkran involves merit making, offering food to monks, listening to sermons, paying respect to elders, and having fun.

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