Songkran Queen predicts Thailand free of drought for New Year

Friday, 11 April 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 15 By  Warunya Thongrod

Thailand should avoid drought and see higher food prices, if the predictions of the 2014 Songkran Queen hold true in the Thai New Year.

So goes the legend of Korakatevee, one of seven fabled daughters of King Kabilaprom, who cut off his own head after losing a bet to his son, Prince Thammaban. His daughters then had to take turns carrying their father’s head around a mountain, never letting it hit the ground for fear that fire and drought would engulf the world.

The daughter carrying the head on Songkran Day - April 14 this year - is designated that year’s Queen Songkran. This year, that duty falls to Monday’s princess, Korakatevee. Dressed in a yellow dress with pearl ornaments, she will lead parades throughout the kingdom on the back of a tiger, carrying a dagger in her right hand and a walking cane in the other.

Korakatevee, Songkran Queen for 2014.Korakatevee, Songkran Queen for 2014.

The ascension of each princess brings prognostications from fortune tellers and soothsayers for Thailand’s prospects in the coming year. With a taste for butter oil, Korakatevee generally inspires divinations of smooth sailing.

The coming Thai New Year is predicted to have sufficient amounts of rainfall; 400 showers in all, split between 160 in the Chakkrawan mountains, 120 in the Himmaphan Forest; 80 on the oceans and 40 on land. Hot weather and drought are expected to be at a moderate level.

More dire predictions say food prices will skyrocket on the second day of the Songkran festival. And, for the Thai people, the new year will bring joy to academics and priests, but repressive rule by the military and government rulers over civil servants.

The word ‘Songkran’ originates from Sanskrit meaning “to move past or to change place.” It refers to the sun’s movement past one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac to another until it completes the circle and marks a new year according to the lunar calendar.

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