THE STORY OF SONGKHANE

It is not easy to explain why some countries in Southeast Asia, such as Burma, Combodia, Laos and Thailand, and even Sri Lanka, have chosen April the 13th as the beginning of their new year.

It is not easy to explain why some countries in Southeast Asia, such as Burma, Combodia, Laos and Thailand, and even Sri Lanka, have chosen April the 13th as the beginning of their new year.

However, according to nature, April is the beginning of the hot season in those countries. In summer, many trees and their leaves, and not long after new leaves rill shoot and begin their lives. And so the old ends and the new begins.

The hot season is also the time when most farmers are free from works, and therefore, it is the time for celebrations and other religious activities. Perhaps, it is because of this happy change that the new year begins in the South and Southeast Asia. Traditionally, twelve years is called a cycle. It starts from the year of the Rat, and then the Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and the Pig. 2000 is the year of Dragon.

One day, Kapila Brahma, one of the biggest gods in heaven came down to test a boy’s wisdom (the boy is a rich man’s son, and his name was Dhammapala). “In the morning, in the day time and at night time where is Siri ( the biggest blessing in a human being) to be found ?”

Along with this question, the god made a strange gamble. He said that if Dhammapala could not answer, within one week, he would cut the boy’s head off. However, on the other hand. If he could answer, then Kapila Brahma would cut his own head off.

Dhammapala was worried, he only had one week to find the answer. And tried as he may, he could not think of it. Just one day before the deadline, he was walking through the forest and rested under a palm tree. Up in the tree lived cultures, a man and his son, and they were conversing. “Where shall we go for our meal tomorrow? asked the son. “We don’t have to go far,” replied the father. “Dhammapala, the rich man’s son will be killed for not being able to answer the god’s question.” What question?” as the son. “Do you know the answer?”

Yes, it is very easy”, answer the father, According to Brahmanisn, Siri in the morning stays on the face. That is why the morning the people wash their faces. In the afternoon, Siri stays on the hold body. That is why they bathe all over. And at night it stays on the feet, that is why people clean feet before they go to bed.”

Having heard this conversation, Dhammapala was very happy. And in the following morning he gave Kapila Brahma the correct answer. True to his word, Kapila Brahma cut off his own head. But before killing himself, he called for his seven daughters to take care of his head, because it fell on earth, the whole planet would catch fire, causing untold calamity to all living beings. And if it fell in the ocean, the great ocean would dry up.

He told his daughters to place his head in the Khandbuli cave of Mount Krailas. And once a year, they were to come out of heavens to bathe it and to parade it around Mount Sumeru. He said that if they took care in his manner, there would be peace and prosperity in the world.

When the Laotians, the Thai and the Cambodians hold this traditional new year parade, the procession is led by the seven daughters of Kapila Brahma. Depending on the day of the week that new year’s day falls, the girls whose name falls on that day, will lead the parade. The names of the seven daughters, in order of birth, corresponding with the days of the week are as follows:

Khorad Dewee Monday
Haksod DEwee Tuesday
Montha Dewee Wednesday
Karinee Dewee Thursday
Kamitha Dewee Friday
Mahothone Dewee Saturday
Thongsa Dewee Sunday

Though some of the Buddhist traditions come from Brahmanism, we do bathe the Buddha images instead and that would bring peace and prosperity to all beings.

THE MEANING OF STAR ANIMALS

According to some ancient astrology, the following eight Star Animals have meanings for one’s birthday. These are not to be confused with the 12 animal cycle of one’s birth year.

To find out your Star Animal for this year, you will have to count your age backwards starting from the Tiger ( for a male person ) or from the ox ( for a female person ) and counting that animal as one. The animal on which you land is your Star Animal for this year. For example, if you were a male person, 25 years of age of this year, your Star Animal would be Tiger.

After you find out your Star Animal, the meanings for your Star Animal are written below. Whether the predictions are true or not, is for you to judge.

  1. Rasasy( a lion-like mythical cat ) One will gain a high position in terms of authority and opportunity with people at one’s beck and call. Material and monetary means will be in abundance.
  2. Cat(This year you will receive frequent but small luck. Even if you have an enemy, he/she will not harm you. Be careful with your finance. You may lose some money.
  3. GarudaYou will gain victory with satisfaction. Your enemy will become your friend and you will live in peace.
  4. OxYou will live a life of abundance. From mid year onwards your luck will diminish slightly but it will return by the end of the year.
  5. ElephantYour life will be bright and shiny with luck and treasure. It is your happiest year and you will receive some news from far away.
  6. RatWhatever you have, either luck or suffering, you will only have half of it. The environment will worry you. Take care of your health.
  7. NagaYou will have plenty of luck and material wealth.

at the end of the year you will receive some luck from someone higher, but take care of your health. You may have stomach problems. If you are single, you may find a partner.

8 Tiger At the beginning of the year you will have luck, but at the end of the year you will receive money from someone of the opposite sex. Be careful of your speech.IMG_5749.JPG

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