(Thai Traditional New Year Celebration)
AU Songkran Festival 2018, organized by Office of the Thai Art and Culture, Student Affairs, during April 10-11, 2018 at the Suvarnabhumi Campus, was fully celebrated in accordance with the original Thai customs reflecting the unique Thainess. Conducted activities included the sprinkling of scented water on the enshrined Buddha Image for blessing and good fortune and alms giving & food offering to the monks (as a form of merit making). The Thai cultural dances, cultural shows and music were performed highlighting the Thai ways, Thai dishes, desserts and traditional costumes as well as Miss Songkran beauty contest. Exhibitions depicting the history of Songkran and Songkran Goddess were set up in the plaza area for all to gain correct information. Both Thai and foreign students clad in various modern Thai flower-patterned attire including the female faculty members and staff being dressed in elegant traditional costumes of King Rama the 7th era enthusiastically participated in the festive event contesting for the best costume award. All these added to the celebrative, cultural and vibrant atmosphere. On April 11, 2018, administrators, faculty members, staff, students and their invited family members took part in the respect paying ceremony to the senior university executives including both the President-Rector Magnificus and the Rector Emeritus, carried out at the Thai Pavilion accompanied by Thai traditional music performed by the AU Classical Performing Arts Club. The blessing remarks given by Rev. Bro. Dr. Bancha Saenghiran, placed emphasis on the preservation of the significant cultural aspects of wearing traditional Thai dresses on a regular basis, respect paying to the elderly by the young and maintaining the authentic Thai food and desserts. The colorful celebration ended with a cocktail reception.