Songkran Festival 2021 was April 13-15. It was Thailand's traditional New Year. The new moon after Spring Equinox. This was their year 1383. But after Thailand switched the New Year to the western calender, Songkran became the Water Festival.
So it was appropriate to make the Thai Hot and Sour Soup, Tom Yum Goong. I made it with shrimp - Boil shrimp shells in water. Remove shells and add colored peppers, mushroom, and shallot. (Add other stuff as you prefer.) Season with garlic, ginger (I don't have galangal), lemongrass, lemon zest (I don't have lime leaves), red chilli, and fish sauce. Add shrimp at the end and adjust seasoning to taste. Drizzle coconut oil to garnish.
Why is it the Water Festival? Because part of celebrating Buddha's birthday is to wash the statues of baby Buddha. Then you sprinkle the holy water on each other to cleanse and bless each other. Then it became general water fights in public where everyone splash water on everyone else for fun. But public water fights in 2020 and 2021 had been banned. So you just celebrate it at home and in temples (no more than 100 persons at a time).
Vimala Knowlis is a retired attorney living in Los Angeles. In addition to travel and food... Vimala loves to dance!