The Traditional Festival Holidays in Southeast Asian Nations (P2)

1. New Year Festival in Thailand

The Traditional New Year in Thailand is called Songkran held from 13th - 15th April annually. This is the time when Thais show their respect to the Buddha. They clean the house, get rid of the old things, splash water to each other with buckets of water, squirt guns, balls... those who “receive” more water will have more luck. This festival has some similarities with that of Laos and Cambodia, but each country also has some different rituals and ceremonies. During the festival, many parades and beauty contests are organized. In addition, people also cook traditional dishes and wear colorful costumes. There is also Wan Nao, the day dedicated to prepare foods for the upcoming holidays. According to tradition, people would come to the riverside and build sandy temples, each grain of sand will sweep away a sin. The Wao Nao is similar to the 30th (last day of the year) in Vietnam.
Water festival in Thailand

Wan Payawan is the first day of the new year. Firstly, people go to the temples in the early morning to offer food and clothing. At home, the pictures of the Buddha will be cleaned and sprinkled with perfumed water. Payawan Wan is also the begining day of the Water Festival. Finally, it is Wan Parg-bpee day– the day used to pray, commemorate the old, ancestors and sprinkle holy water. Songkran Festival is the day to think of the dead; therefore, people prepare sumptuous meals ordered to the ancestors first and then enjoy the new year.

The Magic and Traditions of Songkran Thai New Year

2. New Year Holiday in Philippines

In the Philippines, eventhough Christmas is the most expected holidays of the year, New Year is the happiest, boisterous and busiest day. It is the opportunity for people in the family to reflect on the things occurred during the old year, and look forward to the future with bright hopes together. With Filipinos, Tet symbolizes changes, hopes, opportunities to correct the faults and do good things. In the days near Tet, most Filipino families clean their house, check the furniture and belongings, throw away the redundant or worthless items.

New Year firework over the Philippines sky

Before the Eve, the family members help each other to prepare the "Media Noche" for the whole family to enjoy at midnight. Main courses usually include pancit (noodles with chicken satay and vegetables), fried chicken, sweet rice cake or pudding, and other traditional dishes, and there is always a bottle of champagne or red wine on the table. Before eating, everyone in the family pray to thank the past year and welcome the new year. Adults will lade children bags with of coins because they hope that they will not have to worry about money in the whole year. The children will jump up and down because Filipinos believe that doing so will help children become taller.

Filipino New Year recipes

In the early days, many Filipinos traditionally list the bad habits that they want to quit, and then provide a list of targets that they aim to reach in the New Year. In rural areas, the Philipinos climb the highest mountain to eager for luck and a quite life in 9 days and this only ends at Christmas day (the Philipinos celebrate the New Year before the Christmas). At Tet, children in Philippines wear new clothes while adults sing happily and enjoy the party. Each quarter, the village had the collective game. In the countryside teenagers wear masks to disguise the mountain god and dance with the villagers to bless, pray for luck, an abundant crop and a happy new year.

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