Monday 13th April is a special day for the staff at Thai Terre restaurant and for all the Thai people living in East Dean and the Eastbourne area, as it is the beginning of Thai New Year.
Although the official New Year in Thailand is January 1st, along with the rest of the world, traditionally New Year (Songkran) in Thailand is celebrated in mid-April when the sun moves from the zodiac sign of Pisces into that of Aries.
So will we all be reaching for novelty hats and party poppers? Well… not exactly. Thai New Year is celebrated a bit differently. It represents a time of cleansing and spiritual renewing. On the day before Songkran everyone will tidy their homes and throw away all their rubbish, or risk bad luck in the year ahead.
On the first day of Songkran, particular attention is given to the ritual cleaning of images of Buddha. During the Songkran festival itself, younger Thai people will pay respect to their elders by sprinkling scented water onto their hands, while the younger people will ‘help’ each other wash away all the bad experiences of the previous year by throwing water over one another and shooting each other with water pistols. Having water thrown over you that was used to clean Buddha is considered very lucky. This may not sound like a fun way to spend a Monday in April on the south coast of England, but in Thailand April is the hottest time of the year.
Thai Terre will is closed on Monday 13th April while we celebrate with our families and friends, but we will be open again as normal on Tuesday. We promise we’ll leave our water pistols at home, and if we don’t… well, it’s just our way of wishing you a happy new year.