The Fountain of Life Children’s Center held its annual Songkran Festival on Wednesday, April 4. A group of ladies from the Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) went for the festivities organized by Sister Joan Gormerly and her staff. Sister Joan had also invited a number of people from the Banglamung Home for the Aged.
The FOL Center gives emotional, medical, and educational support to some of Pattaya’s poorest and most helpless children. When necessary, they give financial support to buy school uniforms and to cover lunch and transportation costs. Many of the children’s families would not be able to send their children to school without this help.
Sister Joan Gormerly with a resident of the Banglamung Home for the Aged.
The teachers at FOL Center had worked with the children for weeks on the songs and dances that they performed for their visitors. About 50 children, ranging in age from three or four to about 14, took turns singing traditional Songkran songs, and then performed traditional dances, urging the grown-ups to join in. After the indoor celebrations, all the guests were led outside for the second part of the program.
After the celebrations, the children have fun throwing water all over each other.
All the children and adults were led to the end of the street adjacent to the Fountain of Life Center, where everyone congregated for a few minutes, and then everyone paraded back accompanied by singing children and music. The adults were then seated around a sand stupa, and after more music and dancing, everyone lined up, visitors, adults, and children, and made merit to a small emerald Buddha by pouring water of him. The children then lined up by age, and walked around pouring water over the hands of elders , and patting scented talc paste on their faces also – everyone was pretty wet by the end of it, but it was a delightful experience.
Children at the Fountain of Life prepare to pour water over visiting PILC members.
After the official ceremonies were over, the children were all given ice cream cones, donated by Andrea Pierce, daughter of one of the PILC attendees, and then, once released from responsibilities, they went mad throwing water all over each other and having such a great time – it was a heart-warming experience to see them all enjoying themselves so much. It was a wonderful afternoon, experiencing the Thai festival in its best manifestation.
The Fountain of Life Children’s’ Center, run by the Good Shepherd Foundation, helps children from the poorest families in Pattaya. For more information, please email [email protected]
PILC members join in the Songkran Festival at the Fountain of Life.
Fountain of Life Songkran Celebration.