Songkran in Mackay 2014

Thai New Year and the biggest water fight in the world.

A big piece of my heart belongs to Thailand, and I suppose that’s true for most Thais. Celebrating Songkran in North Queensland was a welcome chance to return to my homeland, if only in spirit. The costumes were striking, the food was authentic and the fun was just as wet as it is back home.
Guest registration and reception
Songkran celebrates the traditional Thai New Year with a water festival – an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family, cool down and have fun!
While an ideal excuse to share a carefree day with family and friends, Thais also mark the New Year by making merit through traditional activities such as the ritual cleansing of a Buddha image and paying respect to elders. 
Traditionally, Thais perform the “Rod Nam Dum Hua” ritual on the first day of Songkran, where young people pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and ask for their blessings.
Water as Symbolism
The real meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off the misfortunes of the past year, thus greeting the New Year with a fresh start. As Songkran has taken on a more festive note, the silver bowl has become a bucket, a garden hose, water guns and play fighting in the mud. 
I was overwhelmed by the fabulous turnout to the Songkran festival in Mackay. Many of the guests were local residents attending the event for the first time and joining the local Thai community in celebrating one of the most colourful festivals in the Thai calendar.
Display of carved fruit and vegetables by Luck Laekanta
Junior fashion parade (Photo Credit: Richard Greenwood)
Thai boxing performance, Traditional Thai dancing
 (Photo Credit: Isabella Photography)
Raffle tickets
The fun part of the Songkran festival
We are definitely going to make this an annual event in Mackay and look forward to an even more exciting festival next year. If you missed it, be sure to save the date for April 2015. 

Press:
ABC Tropical Queensland: Thai New Year makes a splash
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