Thursday, July 30, 2015

Songkran Festival

In Thailand they celebrate the new year, or the Songkran Festival (here in LEGO by Jared Chan), from April 13-15. Traditions include spending time with your parents, grandparents, and other elders; throwing out what is old to look forward to the new; sprinkling with water in a form of ritual purification; and a tradition called 'bathing the Buddha'. A statue of the Buddha is brought through the streets and splashed with water, again a symbol of cleansing the soul of inner impurity. This tradition of splashing with water has evolved into a party-like atmosphere, with people taking to the streets with buckets, hoses, and super-soaker water guns in a city-wide water-fight, as shown in Jared's MOC.

The structure in this MOC is also of note. Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram is one of the most well-known Buddhist temples in Bangkok. The temple, a little over a hundred years old, houses a statue of the Buddha known as Phra Buddhajinaraja in the inner hall, other statues of the Buddha found throughout the structure, and the remains of King Chulalongkorn, who reigned in Thailand from 1868-1910 and is the one who ordered the temple's construction. Today the temple is a symbol of the nation, a popular destination for tourists and is depicted on a Thai coin.

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