Tuesday, August 23, 2016

[“Multicultural Hong Kong in Celebration” Series] Songkran: A Sprinkle of Thai Fiesta in Hong Kong

"Although the district [Kowloon City] is known as “Mini Bangkok”, most of the Thais here are working and leading their lives unnoticed; while on the day of Songkran, they engage in a flagrant jollification, having fun with locals attracted to the event and refreshing their national pride."
 —Rick Leung
Extract from the article:

"Sa-nuk is a common Thai word that means “joy” and “playfulness”. Thais really love fun, and they know how to make fun in their insipid life. To these larky people who often wear big smiles on their faces, the Songkran Festival - commonly known as the Water Festival - is recognized as their happiest time of the year. Songkran is the New Year’s Day to communities on the Southeast Asian peninsula (including Cambodians, Laos, Burmese and the Dai people of Yunnan). The festival was meant to be lasting from New Year’s Eve to the 2nd day of New Year for blessings of a start over. One of the customs is to splash water at one another to “cleanse bad luck” and bring good wishes. The modern Water Festival has become a street party to cool off the summer heat. As a major ethnic minority in Hong Kong, there are more than 10,000 Thais who live and work here. Every year they gather at Kowloon City to celebrate Songkran. You may get to know more about Thai cultures and the Thailand-Hong Kong relationship through this water fiesta in Hong Kong." (Leung 2015:52)

Want to know more about Songkran and how the Thai in Hong Kong celebrate it? Click here to read the full text article (first published in Hong Kong Discovery Vol. 89 in July 2015).

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