VIDEO REPORTER: MANISA PHONGPHROT, for Borderless News Online
Our video reporter, MANISA PHONGPHROT, takes you to one of Thailand’s most beautiful and histocial site. A Thai native, MANISA will show you how Thailand’s traditional dress fever is hitting Songkran, the new year’s celebration.
Over the past several months, a Thai historical TV drama has been hugely popular here. It’s called Buppesanniwas, and has caused a trend of people wearing traditional fashion from the Ayuntthaya period of a few hundred years ago.
Today is Songkran, Thailand’s New Year’s festival, which is famous around the world for people throwing water on each other in the streets in a wild but very friendly celebration.
But this year’s Songkran celebration is different. Because the TV drama Buppesanniwas has become so popular, people are coming out and wearing traditional Thai dress, from hundreds of years ago.
Not only can you see people wearing traditional fashion everywhere, but the historical location of Ayutthaya province — where there is a scene in the series — has become very popular too. This has created a new local business trend — Thai costume renting. There are many shops in front of the temple that start at the price of around 200 baht.
Here you can also see one of Ayutthaya’s most impressive temples, called Wat Chaiwatthanaram, which was built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong.
Wat Chaiwattanaram was used by His Majesty the King and other members of the Royal family. And you can see many Thai tourists dressing in Ayutthaya fashion to re-create the historical era shown in the hit TV show. This is creating a unique ambiance and beautiful image.
The monastery is located opposite the South West corner of the historical island on the other side of the Chao Phraya river. A boat trip around the island gives you a great view of this large, well preserved temple.
On Songkran, we usually see quite a lot of water fights all over town.
But here in Ayutthaya you can see another tradition, which is much calmer.
Mornings begin with people visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks, and people also perform water-pouring rituals on statues of Buddha.
Then they do a New Year celebration “Rot Nam Dam Hua” a traditional way to celebrate with elders.
This shows that Thai people still keep their symbolic traditions to show respect to their culture, their religion and their history, as well as treating elders and family with respect and kindness.
That is the most important meaning of this day, and is a major part of Thai culture.
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