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New Year's Eve

As they are Buddhists, Thai people do not celebrate Christmas except in the shopping centres which are Westernised.  The big event is the New Year.  Originally the Thai New Year was at Songkran,   which is still celebrated, but 1st January is now the official New Year.

As at Songkran, people from all over Thailand return to their villages for the New Year and its a time of music, drinking and dancing.  At midnight everybody in the village lets of fireworks, especially rockets and roman candles.  Living in a country like Australia where fireworks are banned, I always enjoy being able to buy very cheap and spectacular fireworks and let them off in the street. 

It always seems strange to me but Thai men like to drink heavily in the mornings and then sleep off the rest of the day.  Some of the following photos show the local people across the road from our shop in Ban Pho enjoying New Year's Day.

Its an exciting time to have a painting and photography holiday with us in NE Thailand but also our busiest so book early.