The new year: “riding a donkey and eating milk and butter”

Translated and summarized from the "Sumnak Khao Hua Khiew" column by Mae Look Chan (He), Thairath, April 13, 2005

Songkran this year will not fierce as last year as Ms. Songkran last year, Raksoddevi, who drinks blood three times a day so there were lots of big disasters with lots of people lost as well as poultry (chickens and ducks) which were killed in great numbers.

But Miss Songkran this year, Montadevi, is a kind beautiful woman, sitting with eyes closed on a donkey. Her favorite food is milk and butter.

[Each Thai new year is represented by a different female with different characteristics. This is from the legend of Miss Songkran, the daughters of King Kabilaprohm or King Maha Songkran who had 7 daughters--one for each day of the week. They take turns carrying their father's head around Prasumen Mountain in Songkran. The Miss Songkran for each year is up to day the new year falls on. Last year was Tuesday, but this year April 13 is Wednesday named Miss Monthadevi. Sunday is Tungsadevi, Monday is Korakdevi, Tuesday is Raksoddevi, Wednesday is Monthadevi, Thursday is Kirineedevi, Friday is Kimitadevi, and Saturday is Mahothorndevi. Each has a different favorite food, vehicle, weapon, flower, color, and symbol.
For instance Miss Monthadevi's cloth color is emerald green and her ornament is lapis lazulite. She holds in her right hand a sharp iron and left hand a whaling stick. Her favorite food is milk and butter. Her vehicle is a donkey and her flower is a champca or orange champak.
Next year will be Miss Kirineedevi. Her cloth color is lapis lazulite, her ornament is the emerald, her foods are beans and sesame. Her right hand holds a long hook used for controlling elephants. Her left hand holds a crossbow and her vehicle is an elephant. Her flower is the montha.
Several Thai newspapers had cartoons of Miss Songkran on the front page of their new years' editions.]

This years' forecast: Riding a donkey means the Thai economy grow slowly, but surely. Starting a big business on Saturday will be fortuitous because Saturday this year is the best day. The rating of 'Thaksin meets the people' radio program on Saturday will be okay.

Monday is a doomsday. It should not be a day for doing good things. Cabinet meetings on Tuesday will be clear on urgent matters and good for roaming cabinet meetings [cabinet meetings held outside of Bangkok]. Wednesday and Thursday are for cabinet meetings at government house. Sunday is a wicked (devilish) day and one should stay at home.

According to He (Mae Look Chan) Miss Songkran this year likes to drink milk and butter. This may be related to the FTA [Free Trade Agreement] meaning that Thailand may be disadvantaged. And people who eat noodle or rice with curry will not be protected from Ms. Songkran. [This means since this year's Miss Songkran likes milk and butter--which is preferred by foreigners and not Thais--that foreigners who like the food that she does will be luckier than Thais.]

He (Mae Look Chan) is very worried because after Songkran the Government will increase diesel gasoline prices and cooking gas prices will be floated. If the government cannot control food prices, the government will not survive. This is not a threat, but it is the truth.

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