Mon Songkran Festival

Mon Songkran Festival

Songkran Festival (Patata) is a significant festival of Mon people. It is yearly held from 13th of April to the beginning of May. The festival begins with merit making activities such as Khao Chae Procession, Nam Wan Procession, releasing fish into waterway and inviting monks to make a merit at home. The festival ends with local dancing of each village. Mon people believe that this festival marks the beginning of new year, thus they celebrate with behaving in precepts to pay homage to triple gems – Buddha, Buddha’s teaching and Buddha clergy – and Goddess of Songkran festival.

Normally preparation for the festival will be arranged a week in advance. People will make local desserts such as Kalamae, Khao Niao Deang and Khao Niao Kaew. The most important traditional desserts are Khanom Chin or called Khanob Chin and Khao Chae or called Peung Hong Krab. On 13th April, Khao Chae kept cooling in clay pottery will be brought to monks in temples. Then ritual for paying homage to Goddess of Songkran Festival, locally called Misongkran, will begin with setting up a shrine and bringing her the offering.

Merit-making will be continued for three days 13th, 14th and 15th of April. During this time, young people have to bring food to pay respect to elders. In the evening, traditional play such as Saba Mon and Tha Yae Mon will be held within house area. These kinds of play will give a chance for young men and women to get to each other.

After 15th of May, people celebrate Songkran with processions such as Nang Songkran processon at Phra pra Deang and Nam Wan procession at Ko Kred. Merit – making called Pakaoya Atokwan is an important ritual bringingluck to people and villages. People give food to monks and water Buddha images and pagodas in temples. After that they arrange Hang Hong procession.

Hang Hong, a colorful long place of cloth, similar to a flag, will be raised to the top of a pole called Lao Hong. Mon people strongly believe that celebrating New Year with all above rituals will bring luck, peace and happiness to them.

 

        

 

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