This was actually my first time participating in any of the traditional Songkran activities, which includes a water blessing ritual, folk dances, and, of course, a potluck.
Rinsing of the hands and face is especially important to the holiday, as it symbolizes the washing away of the past year's grievances and misfortunes.
Unfortunately even this happy day couldn't escape the shadow of Thailand's recent political events. For their dance the girls all wear red loincloths, and one student remarked the color seemed rather faded, asking if the cloths were really old or just a muted shade of red.
My favorite teacher said, "They're supposed to be that color. No one wants to be truly red."
We all had a good laugh about that one.