FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — People lined Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick, a fitting location to celebrate the Thai Water Festival which is also known as the Thai New Year.
Dream Sirikarn Prammawat is one of the coordinators of the festival and explains the significance of Thai New Year, or Songkran, is to celebrate movement and new life.
“The reason why they named it Songkran back in the day is because it means moving into a new year, moving into a new Zodiac, moving into the new moon,” Prammawat explains.
Prammawat highlighted that the festival is also referred to as the Thai Water Festival because people are often seen splashing or pouring water on each other as a way to cleanse themselves for a new year and a new period in their lives.
In Thailand, Songkran is traditionally celebrated in April but the festivities in Frederick were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elizabeth Chung, Executive Director of the Asian American Center of Frederick, was also in attendance at the festival. She was overjoyed with the diverse crowd also enjoying the festival, especially after the largely negative sentiments towards members of the Asian American Pacific Islander or AAPI community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This particular festival just shows the particular resiliency, the determination, the beloving contribution the Asian American community makes towards our state and to our country so that we will stand up tall and strong,” Mrs. Chung said. “We just want to bring our heritage.”
Mayor Michael O’Connor also declared August 29th as the annual Thai Water Festival Day.