Songkran is one of the most important festivals for all Thai! Click here to read more about Songkran.
I am ready to go! Do you have any equipment for Songkran? Besides a water gun (which is not a compressive pressure one. I am afraid I will hurt other people if I use those big compressive pressure guns) I also have white clay filler (ดินสอพอง Din Saw Pong) and Thai scented water (น้ำอบ Nam Ob) for powdering others’ faces. It will make your face more scented and whiter. I will not use colorful powder because it is too difficult to clean up. White clay filler with Thai scented water is the best in terms of being easy to clean and also perfumed.
In the old time, before the King Rama IV brought essential oils from abroad. Fragrance has been one of the major elements of Thai traditions such as dipping a new baby in scented water called โกนผมไฟ kon pom fai, pouring water mixed with a Thai fragrance over statues of Buddha at the Songkran festival and at Thai funerals.
There are many types of Thai fragrances, for example; น้ำอบ nam ob, น้ำปรุง nam prung, ดินสอพอง din saw pong etc. of which the most popular is Nam ob. This was a traditional cosmetic first discovered in the Sukhothai kingdom continuing to the Ayutthaya kingdom and Rattanakosin kingdom. The fact that King Rama II liked to use nam oop and nam prung very much demonstrates how important it was in Thai fragrance and cosmetics at that time because it became a popular trend from the royal family to the citizens.
“Nam ob” น้ำอบ is the name of a liquid fragrance which is made from a fresh scented flowers such as jasmine, orange, bread flower etc. then roasted with fragrant candles (made from citrus bark, frankincense, brown sugar, beeswax and nutmeg). The result of this process is a light yellow liquid. This process does not give much quantity of Nam ob because Thai people only make it for their own family from day to day. If they left the perfume more than one day, the scent of flower might change.
Nowadays, the younger Thai generation don’t usually use Nam ob Thai as everyday perfume but only use it in important traditions such as wedding ceremony, Songkran festival, and Thai funerals. Therefore, Nam ob Thai has an important place in the identity of Thai culture.
“Happy Thai New Year! May I splash water and powder your face?” 😀
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