Father Ray Foundation
The Thai New Year festival of Songkran starts each year on the 13th of April.
It has become famous around the world as the water festival, and people arrive in Thailand at this time of year to have fun and throw water.
But there is a serious side to Songkran, and a tradition that goes back many many years. It is a time for paying respect at temples, for cleaning the temple and home to prepare for the coming year and also a time to pay respect to elders.
Here at the Foundation the ceremony started with Father Peter washing the statue of Father Ray and adorning it with a brand new floral garland. Then the children followed and they all poured scented water over a statue of Buddha and also the Virgin Mary, before splashing a few drops on to Father Ray’s statue.
They they passed the elders, priests, brothers, teacher and cares and they poured scented water over their hands, in return receiving a blessing for the coming year.
Then once all that is over there is a lot of fun to be had when the elders either went indoors or drive off adn the children were left to throw as much water as they wanted to throw and over anyone they wanted to soak.
This is only Day 1, and it doesn’t end here in Pattaya until the 19th April and that really is a water fight!