Today is the first day of Lao New Year or Songkran, which is traditionally celebrated April 13-15. In some places, like Luang Prabang, festivities can last a full week. One of these years, I plan on being in Laos to celebrate properly.
Any minute now, Mom is going to call and ask if I remembered to wash my Buddha. On the first day of Songkran, we air out the house and bring down the Buddha statues from their altars to clean with perfumed water. The water is then collected in a pan and splashed on ourselves in a symbolic gesture of spiritual cleansing.
You don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the notion of renewing yourself at the start of a new year, nor do you have to be Lao to appreciate all the delicious foods and water fights.
Sabaidee pii mai to the only other Lao person I know on WordPress, Theek@thelaotioncommotion; to my honorary Lao, Angie@thenovicegardener (she makes curry from scratch!); and also to my Lao-by-proxy friend (married to a Lao), Kelsey@stickyriceandketchup.
May you all have an auspicious and healthy new year!
(A sneak peek into what’s to come next weekend)