Saturday, 12 April 2014


For the second year in a row we celebrated the Lao new year - Pii Mai, at Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram at St Johns Park. It had been raining in the days leading up to the festival so the area at the back of the temple was very muddy, that was also where the food stalls were. There were lots of petite young ladies wearing high heels getting bogged in the mud. Everyone was still smiling and happy.

We met up with a few friends, including Lee, who did a lot of the flower arrangements for the festival. She did a great job and the place looked absolutely beautiful.

In Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia the new year celebration falls within the hottest time of the year so the water festival aspect of the event is perfectly timed. Here, things are just getting a bit cooler so the water throwing is not so exuberant.

The timing of the new year is thought to have been adapted from a Hindu festival. It is a time for family and friends to spend time together and have some fun, plus a spiritual event of great importance to Theravada Buddhists.

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