KHT’s work across Mae Hong Son means that we see a lot of diversity in cultures, traditions and beliefs. There are many religions and ethnic groups in the province, and even within those groups there is a variation of traditions.
Many Karen are Catholic and have strong connections with their local churches, which act as community centres and hubs of social activity.
Easter in 2023 coincides with the Thai festival of Songkran. This is a national holiday celebrated across Thailand and is linked to water festivals and celebrations. It is also the school holidays and children will be with their families, including those that live in dormitories due to the distance of their homes from school.
Easter time in Mae Hong Son means many families will are marking Lent and looking forward to Easter celebrations with their families.
During Lent many people will not eat meat on Fridays and reduce the amount of meals they have everyday. This is related to self-discipline and showing importance to this time of the year.
People will also save money everyday (1Baht on the first day of Lent, 2Baht on the second etc) until the 40 days are over. What they have saved will be shared with their Church to then give to others in need, including in other countries.
Religious and cultural celebrations are an important time for the Karen to gather, affirm their community identity, network and help each other. Easter ends with a large gathering at the church and ends with dinners with family and friends. Many people will also share food and treat the children to snacks and ice cream!
KHT would like to wish everyone celebrating, a very happy Easter and Songkran!