Songkran Festival 2016 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro last Sunday April 17, 2016. The celebration was later than the actual New Year celebration which was celebrated on April 13 to the 15th in Southeast Asia, it’s celebrated for 3 days.

Cups of sand were prepared for Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

There were plenty of foods brought in by worshipers to offer to the monks.

The traditional morning Almsgiving of offering foods to the monks.

The vendors were busy, many food vendors donated their profits to the temple.

It’s a tradition to visit your elders and pour water over their hands and wish them good health and happiness for the New Year and this year we took the opportunity to do it at the temple. It’s nice to be able to pass down the tradition to the younger generations.

I’m always behind the camera and this time my sister offered to take the picture for me. I’m glad I handed her my camera, this image is priceless.

We also pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our hearts and souls and wish a good year of health and prosperity.

The traditional Khmer dancers.

I normally don’t do a video without my tripod and my reading glasses but I don’t think that still photos will do justice. The video is a bit shaky and not as sharp as I like for it to be, hope you will enjoy watching these young dancers.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of Songkran Festival 2016.

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Songkran Festival 2015 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro last Sunday April 19, 2015. It rained in our area, traveling to the temple was difficult and by the time we got there it amazed us that there’s not a drop of rain and the temple is only 1 hour and 30 minutes by car ride from us. We had a good turnout.The Cassia Fistula L. or the Golden Shower Trees are in bloom during the Songkran festival in Laos and Thailand, and in the US the temple is decorated with the pink Azalea flowers, the flowers that are in season during Songkran in our area.

One of our temple greeters.

For most of us when we built the Jaydee Cide or sand stupas we made a wish and donated the good merits for our deceased family members, and as for us it was for our mom. Some might wish for a year of good health and prosperity, I wonder how many people remember the symbolic of the Jaydee Cide, how many people remember the story of Kabinlaphom and his seven daughters Nang Sangkaan?

Songkran is the traditional Lao and Thai New Year also called the Water Splashing Festival. It’s too cold to splash water in our area, and we pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our hearts and souls and wish a good year of health and prosperity.

The food vendors were busy, especially the Spicy Papaya vendor.

The traditional morning Almsgiving offering food to the monks.

The traditional Khmer dancers.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of Songkran Festival 2015.

Songkran Festival 2014 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro on Sunday April 13, 2014. We had a good turnout and the weather was exceptionally nice, it was in the 80s. Songkran is one of the biggest events at our temple. It is the time of the year for a new beginning, and for some of us it is the time to wash away the rust that has been clinging to our hearts and souls, learning to let go of the past and to start fresh with the new beginning. I am the temple photographer and do love the colorful and rich culture of the event.

Some photos were converted to black and white due to the orange cover above making everyone’s faces looking orange.

People brought in foods to offer to monks, we only had three monks holding the service so there were plenty of foods for all of us.

For the love of photography you can’t have enough photography gear. P’Odd carries this many gears on a regular basis, perhaps this might be on his light side.

The photo below was taken by P’Odd. It was nice of him to offer to take a picture of me pouring water on the monk’s hand.

We songk nom pra or pour water over monk’s hands for blessing.

This young man asked the monk to bless his tattoos.

I think it’s still debatable if tattoo is just a body art or a cultural sacred design.

Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

Lee has grown so much this year.

Looking back to the time when she was 6 year old, these two photos below were taken in 2008.

Lee paid homage to the birthday Buddha status or the Day Buddha status.

Time has changed, but this temple remains the same sacred ground for us.

Instead of splashing water, shaving cream is still popular in this part of the country.

Khmer classical dance

I’ve posted more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook page, please click here to see more Songkran Day Festival 2014 photos.

Songkran Day at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Lao Pee Mai, Khmer, and Thai New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro on Sunday April 14, 2013. We had a good turnout, surprisingly more so than the previous years.

The weather was exceptionally nice, good weather to celebrate the water festival, but of course the celebration is totally different than from back home. It’s less water splashing in the US, and more shaving cream. Even this Persimmon tree got a little splash of shaving cream to ring in the New Year.

This is my first time seeing a Jaydee (stupas) made of rice bags and money tree center piece.

People brought in foods to offer to monks and there must have been at least 2000 tiny bowls, I should know since we end up washing the dishes.

Alms giving.

I’m happy to see so many people visiting the temple, the Alms line went all the way to the back.

Food offering to the monks.

Jaydee Cide (Sand Stupas)

Offering the money tree to the temple.

We pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our soul.

We songk nom pra or pour water over monk’s hands for blessing.

Bird release ceremony

Khmer New Year game

Live music and Lumvong (Lao/Khmer/Thai traditional dance)

There’s not that many vendors this year, I guess most didn’t expect such a good turnout and many didn’t setup their booths.

Please visit Wat Greensboro Facebook to see more Songkran photos.

Pee Mai at Wat Greensboro North Carolina 2011

It must be the sunshine after the storm, the weather was exceptionally nice and we had a good turnout. Today we celebrated a Cambodian, Lao, and Thai New Year.

I think many people have a misconception when they pray to the lord Buddha. I overheard one lady telling her daughter that when she pours the water over the Buddha images to ask for what ever she wishes and wants for her future. Buddha is not a god of giving, but a teacher and we follow his teaching. What you wish and want, only you could make it happen and it makes more sense to ask for strength and guidance so you could achieve your goal in life. We pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our soul.

My dad brought his own blessing water.

Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

Paying homage to the lord Buddha.

Morning Almsgiving, the tradition of offering food to the monks.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is Lao, Thai or Cambodian and when they stand in line to give Almes, what they offer is a giveaway. A Lao person will most likely offer rice, fruits, sweet treats, and money.

I notice that a Cambodian often offer rice and money.

Food offering to the monks.

Wat Greensboro is in the process of expanding, many people offer money to help build the bathrooms, kitchen, and Sala Houng Tum (worship hall).

This is a perfect place to learn about Buddhism.

Vendors

Lee found a friend, he was dressed in a Thai outfit.