Songkran 2021

Thai New Year, Songkran. This was an unusual year to say the least. With a global pandemic raging, and Thailand in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19, Bangkok cancelled most public Songkran celebrations, and closed many bars and eating establishments.
A week out I was unsure what celebrations would be held in the rural province of Nakhon Nayok where I live. I was committed to documenting whatever happened, even if it was going to be home life! A couple of days before Songkran I found out some of the religious aspects of Thai New Year would still take place. Other events such as the water blessings would be canceled. For the events that would take place I would be there cameras at the ready.

Men pray at a Songkran service in a local temple in rural Thailand.

Songkran is a 3 day holiday at the minimum. The start of Songkran this year was a Wednesday, so it became a 5 day holiday for most Thais. The images below were made during the 5 day holiday in my rural area of Pakpli, Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.

People pray at the local temple – Leica M246 Monochrom
A woman places gold foil on a statue of the Buddha at a temple during a Songkran 2021 service.

A large part of Songkran is praying for and honoring the departed. The third wave of the pandemic did not deter the monks and families from following this tradition.

On the cute side – A child becomes a sweets tester during the Songkran service.

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