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  • Writer's pictureTCAHK

How to Celebrate Songkran 如何慶祝潑水節

在潑水節第一日的清早,即 4 月 13 日,無論老少都穿上新衣去自己村莊或地區的寺廟給僧人提供食物。寺廟裡會擺放一張長桌,桌上兩側放著僧人接受貢品的碗盤,人們把熟米飯放到碗內,食品、水果和甜品則置於碗蓋上。這些亦可以在潑水節日曼谷以外的寺廟看到。 潑水節當日下午,寺廟裡有佛像洗浴儀式,及後開始著名的「潑水宴」。在潑水節三天期間,人們穿上最好的衣服走上寺廟,他們帶來蠟燭、香燭、鮮花和泰國香水(นํ้าอบ)或水和香水的混合物。寺廟裡每一個人都點亮蠟燭和三個香燭,並將它們和花束一起放在佛壇前的容器中,禮佛後,把少量的香水倒在佛像的手中。這儀式稱為「浴佛」(สรงน้ำพระพุทธรูป)。 年輕人也將在這一天或隨後幾天去拜訪長輩和他們尊重的人,祈求祝福。他們會預備毛巾等洗浴必需品,將香水倒入老人的手心,這儀式叫做「成人倒水」(การรดน้ำดำหัวผู้ใหญ่)。以前,這是一個真正的沐浴,年輕人幫助老人洗澡,並替他們穿上新衣。如今,老人只坐在椅上,孩子就在他身上倒香水。老一輩的會喜歡香水作為禮物,並在炎熱的季節塗上軟粉,這些粉是泥灰岩(ดินสอพอง)香水和粉的混合,有時粉會與玫瑰油預拌,噴在毛巾或手帕上使用,這稱為爽身粉(แป้งสด)。此外,孩子會獻上傳統蠟燭、香燭和花,以表示最崇高的敬意。 現在談一下僧侶的沐浴禮儀(สรงน้ำพระ),這可以在潑水節三天內的任何一天舉行,僧侶通常是寺院內最德高望重的住持,而在村廟的情況下,便是村廟內的長老,人們稱他為「父親」(สรงน้ำพระ),意指偉大的父親。他不僅是他們的精神之父,也擔任他們在世俗事務中的顧問角色。他擁有廣泛的知識和經驗,他總是在爭議中最持平的調解員;在大多數情況下,村民更願意遵從他們的「父親」,而非向法院或其他地方當局尋求援助。浴後,住持給信眾教誨,祝福他們新年快樂。 Early on the first day of Songkran, the 13th April, the people both young and old in their new clothing go to the วัด (wát) or temple belonging to their village or district to offer food to the monks there. A long table is erected in the compound of the temple where monk's alms bowls stand in a row on either side of the table. Into the alms bowls the gathering people put boiled rice and into the covers of the alms bowls, food, fruits and sweetmeats. Such a performance can be seen at temple outside Bangkok on Songkran Day. In the afternoon of the same day there is bathing ceremony of the Buddha images and also of the monk of the temple. After this begins the well-known "water throwing feast". During the three days of Songkran people flock to the monastery in their best clothes. They bring with them candles, joss sticks, flowers and small bottles of Thai scented water called นํ้าอบ (naam ob) or a mixture of water and perfumes. At the wat shrine each devotee lights a candle and three joss sticks and places them together with a single flower or a bouquet in a receptacle in front of Buddha's altar. After worshipping, a little quantity of the scented water is poured on the hands of the Buddha image. Such a ritualistic act is called in Thai สรงน้ำพระพุทธรูป (sŏng náam prá pút-tá-rûup), bathing the Buddha image. Younger people will also on this day or the succeeding days go to pay their respect to and ask blessings from their elders and respected persons. They will pour scented water into the palms of the old people and present them with a towel and other bathing requisites, this ceremony is called การรดน้ำดำหัวผู้ใหญ่ (gaan rót náam dam hŭa pûu yài). In the old days it was an actual bathing where the young people helped the old people to take a bath and to change their old clothing and put on the new clothes which the young people presented them as an act of respect to the aged on the occasion of the New Year. Nowadays, the elder would seat himself on chair, children would pour the scented water on him. A gift of a bottle of scented water is specially appreciated by the older generation who are want to smear themselves during the hot season with a preparation of soft chalk powder called ดินสอพอง (din-sɔ̌ɔ pɔɔng) mixed with scented water which is refreshing to the skin. Sometimes the powder is ready-mixed with attar of roses and may be applied lightly with a towel or handkerchief. Such toilet preparation is called แป้งสด (bpaang-sòd) or fresh toilet powder. Further they would present him with the traditional candles, joss sticks and flowers emblems denoting the highest respect among the Thai. We now come to the ceremonial bath of a monk สรงน้ำพระ (sŏng náam prá). It may take place on any of the three days of Songkran. The monk is usually the abbot of the monastery, who is invariably held in high esteem, usually old and, in the case of a village temple, a leading personage in the community life. People call him หลวงพ่อ (lŭang pɔ̂ɔ) meaning Great Father. He is not only their spiritual father but also their adviser in temporal affairs in the light of his recognized wide knowledge and experience. He is always an unquestioned mediator in disputes; the villagers, in most cases prefer to abide by their lŭang pɔ̂ɔ's decision rather than report to the courts or other local authorities. After the bath the abbot gives a sermon followed by his blessing for a happy New Year.

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