Happy New Year!

No, this is not a belated Chinese New Year greeting. This weekend begins the celebration of the Southeast Asian New Year!

This festival is widely celebrated in nations that are predominantly Theravada Buddhist, so this theme is both fitting and auspicious for our first post! You may often hear/see this celebration called Songkran in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, Thingyan in Burma and Aluth Avurudhu in Sri Lanka. This new year is also celebrated in Nepal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Punjab and Bengal (including Bangladesh). Apparently it’s not as much of a fest elsewhere in South Asia.

In Southeast Asia, this festival coincides with the hottest time of the year, and accordingly is more popularly known as the Water Festival due to people throwing water on each other. Sometimes it can really get out of hand. Keep this in mind if you intend to go to temple this weekend!