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Happy (Thai) New Year

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Stir-fried beef with red curry past and thai herbs, Roasted buternut squash curry and chicken massaman curry

Stir-fried beef with red curry past and thai herbs, Roasted buternut squash curry and chicken massaman curry

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Songkran, the Thai traditional New Year, starts April 13, and lasts for three days. It is a time for cleaning and renewal and some people make New Year resolutions.

Songkran is a Thai word which means 'move' or 'change place', as it is the day when the sun changes its position in the zodiac. It is also known as the water festival, as people believe that water will wash away bad luck.

Thais roam the streets with water guns, or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose, and drench each other.

The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people – they captured the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then used this 'blessed' water to give good fortune to elders and family members, gently pouring it on the shoulders.

Families and friends celebrate by visiting temples, sprinkling water on Buddha images in reverence and sprinkling water on each other's hands to wish good luck.

Today, we feature three recipes from Saba restaurant on Clarendon Street in Dublin.

Owner Paul Cadden says: "The sheer variety of the herbs and spices used in Thai cooking can be mind-boggling. There are medicinal benefits to all of them, hence the blend of ingredients mixed in some dishes makes substitution a tricky thing.

"There is a belief held in Thailand that the human body comprises five elements, and each element is associated with one of the five flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty. By balancing these flavours in a meal, your body will also remain in harmony."

Saba will be celebrating Songkran in style with a menu of special dishes, cocktails, goodie bags, competitions and giveaways

Weekend Magazine