Happy New Year
This is the last day of Christmas, so the trimmings will be coming down all over the Western World this evening. Along with the rain and the snow, so I have heard. Here in Thailand, it is a sunny, but cool evening of 31c and very nice it is too in the garden with a cold beer. Many of the houses I can see are sporting a Happy New Year and a Merry Christmas banner, but they don’t take them down until the monsoons do it for them in May.
The motivation is more how to get maximum value for money than laziness though, since there are at least three reasons for wishing people a Happy New Year in the first four months of the year that I know of.
Thais have adopted the Western New Year in January; then forty-odd percent of Thais have some Chinese ancestry, and he Chinese New Year is usually in February (I think); and finally, the best Thai holiday of the year, Songkhran, the Thai New Year in the middle of April.
Of the three, Songkhran is my favourite and I think that 99% of people who live here would agree. It is as if the whole nation becomes happy in the celebration of its cultural heritage.
So, it often seems that Thailand bounces along the first four months from one Happy New Year to the next, since many Thais get a substantial time off work for January 1st; the Chinese festival lasts a week and Songkhran is celebrated for at least three days, but up to ten, depending upon the location.
If you want to treat yourself to an exotic winter or spring holiday, why not try Thailand next time? I’m sure that you will not regret it.
By the way, ‘Sawut dee, Bpi Mai’ – Happy New Year – whichever one you have just celebrated.
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All the best,
Podcast: Happy New Year