If you have reading The Endless Further for a while, you may remember that I live in the section of Hollywood USA known as Thai Town. Yesterday was the annual Songkran Festival celebrating the Thai New Year. Hollywood Blvd was closed down for a mile in order that one and all could enjoy “the most delicacy of Thai sophisticated culture and tradition.”
Songkran is a Thai word derived from the Sanskrit samkranti, which means “to cross into” and refers to the day when sun passes from one astrological sign to another.
An important ceremony of Songkran is throwing water. Tradionally, Thai people will pour water on the hands of elders and Venerables and ask for blessings. This often includes bathing statues of Buddha. Apparently, in Thailand they go all out with this – roaming the streets with water guns and other containers, hiding on the side of the road or behind bushes to throw water on each other. I didn’t see any of that going on yesterday but I did get hit by some wayward bubbles from this little girls bubble gun. Fortunately, I survived.
It was chilly, partly cloudy day, with some light rain in the morning, but that didn’t put a damper on this year’s attendance. Here are a few of the pics I took and there is a link to the complete gallery below:
This young woman is playing the Koto Guzheng Chinese Zither Harp
Here’s a close up of a guy playing the same instrument.
This man had to be the worst Elvis impersonator I have ever heard (or seen). He couldn’t carry a tune to save his life. It was excruciating to listen to.
This fella agreed with me.
The “Place for Buddha Worship” is not bad for just lounging around, either.
The ceremonial procession of the Man on Stilts
View the entire gallery here.