Although the official new year in Thailand kicks off on January 1, the country’s traditional new year celebration, called Songkran, takes place over a few days in April. This three-day party pulls out all the stops and is an affair worth attending!
Also celebrated in Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, Songkran merges Buddhist and zodiac traditions by marking the astrological passage of Pieces into Aries. From April 13 to 15, natives perform Buddhist rituals, eat fabulously festive food, and take part in what may be the world’s largest water fight. Throughout the country, people splash each other with water as they go about their day. But this is no genteel squirt of a water pistol, though many of those are encouraged. Instead, people drench each other with buckets of clean water as they walk down the street or head to the beach. The tradition combines the notion of cleansing—many Thais also perform a spring cleaning of their home to begin the new year right—as well as a wish for a wet season to water the crops.
As with most holidays, food plays a hefty role. Celebratory feasts feature pad thai noodles, curries, and tangy papaya salad. For a taste of Thailand using your Smart Cooker, whip up Sweet Coconut Rice with Mango, which is our take on the classic Thai dessert of mango sticky rice. Stay tuned for more Songkran-inspired recipes on the App, including Mussels with Red Curry and Vegan Peanut Lettuce Wraps.