Buddhist temple in Layton hosting Songkran festival
LAYTON — The Wat Dhammagunaram Layton Temple is holding a Songkran festival on Saturday and Sunday to mark the Thai and Lao new year.
Activities go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with Buddhist “merit-making ceremonies” set for Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. The Buddhist temple is located at 644 E. 1000 North in Layton and admission is free.
Songkran is a festival marking the new year and it’s traditionally celebrated in Thailand. Thai food, a beauty pageant, cultural dances and more will be featured at the Layton event.
“The holiday’s main focus is about moving forward — in fact, the word Songkran comes from a phrase in the Sanskrit language that means ‘passage of the sun,'” according to National Geographic. “Water plays a major role in the festival. Symbolically it washes away the previous year so people can get ready for the next one.”
According to Voices of Utah, a University of Utah reporting initiative, most of the founders of Wat Dhammagunaram temple are spouses of U.S. airmen stationed at Hill Air Force Base.
“Many immigrants who go to this temple are Thai, although there have been members from Laos and Cambodia as well. Thailand, Laos and Cambodia are all predominantly Theravada Buddhist countries, which is why the Wat Dhammagunaram temple practices Theravada Buddhism,” according to Voices of Utah.