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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class:
Holidays in Thailand, Lesson 1 – New Year's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Thailand Series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Thai holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year's Day. In Thai, it’s called วันปีใหม่ (wan bpii mài).
In this lesson, we're going to discuss New Year's Day, or, as it’s generally known, New Year, which is celebrated on January 1 every year. New Year activities in Thailand are unique and quite different to those in other countries. You must be interested by now. If you’re ready, let’s listen!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
On New Year's Day, one activity that has been popular for a long time is sending “Sor Kor Sor” or “Song Kwam Suk” greeting cards. The full name means “sending happiness”. What is the history behind these?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
When it gets close to the New Year festival, Thai people will start to clean their houses and decorate them with lights. Then, on December 31, people will go to their local temples or วัด (wát) to listen to preaching and practice Dharma. There are several popular temples where Thai people often go, including Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Kallayanamitra. The most popular activity during New Year’s Eve is praying all night long until the break of the new year. But of course, the New Year's countdown is a widely recognized tradition as well.
On January 1, people will make offerings, listen to preaching, and ask for blessings or คำอวยพร (kham uuai phaawn) from their elders. Some will go to several temples for “luck enhancement", in the hopes of establishing a good beginning to the new year. Most people will also take time to be with their family and friends and enjoy festive activities. One such activity is drawing lots for gift exchanges. The Thai word for gift is ของขวัญ (khǎawng khwăn).
On the New Year, people usually send greeting cards or การ์ดอวยพร (gáat uuai phaawn) and wish each other luck by saying “Happy New Year” or “Hello New Year” with big smiles on their faces. In addition, shops usually play a popular song called “Pon pee mai" which means ‘New Year blessings’, and was composed by King Rama IX as a gift to the Thai people.
In the past, April 1 was designated as New Year's Day, but in 1941, the government changed Thailand’s New Year's Day to January 1 in keeping with the international tradition.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the history of the popular activity on New Year's Day of sending “Sor Kor Sor” or “Song Kwam Suk"?
Actually, Thailand did not originally have a tradition of sending “Sor Kor Sor”. Rather, they adopted this cultural practice from foreign countries after the late Ayutthaya period. The greeting cards come in the form of paper with writing or printed images.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What about in your country – how do you celebrate the New Year?
Leave us a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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ThaiPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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What about in your country - how do you celebrate the New Year?

 

Thursday at 11:21 pm
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Hello Clare,


Thank you very much for your comment and suggestion. We really appreciated. I will pass your comment to our team so everyone can consider. Please let's know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you have a good progress with your Thai.


Thanks again and have a nice day.


Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Clare
Wednesday at 10:04 am
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what would be grate at the end of your lessons if you had a quick quiz on the subject ie, A,B,C answer questions

Saturday at 12:51 am
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Hello Alisson,


Thanks for your comment and joined our lesson activity. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a nice day.


Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Alisson
Friday at 7:16 am
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In my country, Brazil, the New Year is celebrated with family or friends party. In most city is usually shot fireworks.