Article by Praewa Limpiwatana (Thailand)
Blog Correspondent of ASEAN-Korea Centre
New Year season has alwaysbeen the most favourite time of the year for all people. People not only have a break from work, but also have free time to celebrate this special time of the year with friends or family.
Similar to everywhere in the world, Thai people also take this opportunity to go back to their hometown, giving the parents money and getting pass the year together. It is a custom that old people in the family will say blessings to the younger generation. This is considered a good start of the year for them. We think that blessings from parents are sacred. Therefore, it is important that children should take care of their parents well. If not, they will be cursed and would not be successful in their life.
At this time of the year, Bangkok (the capital city) will, for a couple of days, be quiet and car-free. On the other hand, other touristic places will be packed with the crowds. Most of the time, on the first day and the last day of the New Year break, all cars seem to be gathering on the high way and it will takes 2-3 times longer than usual time to travel. Therefore, a lot of people do not want to get out of Bangkok during this time.
Let’s have a look back in town. For people who do not want to join the crowd out town, they can choose to have a great time in Bangkok. There are several places that people can go count down on New Year’s eve.
The most popular places would be Central World, a hip department store in the heart of Bangkok.
There, they will set up a stage where famous artists will come to perform their concerts. At midnight,smiley faces of people will shout 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and louder at “Happy New Year!”
On Jan 1 of every year, Thai Buddhists tend to visit temples to pay respect to Lord Buddha and at the same time thinking that they will receive the blessings for the beginning of the year. Popular temples that people pay a visit are those with good-meaning names like Wat Arun (The temple of dawn) meaning the fresh beginning of the year. Wat Ra-Kang (The temple of Bell), the sound of the bell also have a meaning of new beginnings. Wat Cha-na Songkram (War defeating temple), all obstacles in life will be perished.
New Year is the time of joy and new beginnings. It’s the time of hope and brighter life. However, good things don’t come easily. Sitting there and doing nothing but pray. Yes, having hope and positive thinking is always a good start but I do believe that it is us who take the beiger part to determine and destine our life. Success or failure is also in our hand. So, now let’s have a fresh start and put our effort into action and your better life will shortly come true.