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The Songkran Festival is a traditional Thai New Year's celebration that takes place annually from April 13th to 15th. It is known for its water-throwing festivities, where people pour water on each other as a symbol of purification and the washing away of sins and bad luck.

The name Songkran comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, which means "astrological passage," and marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season in Thailand.

During the festival, people also visit temples, offer food to Buddhist monks, and participate in cultural activities such as parades and traditional dances. The holiday is an important time for families to come together and pay respect to their elders, as well as for friends to reunite and celebrate the start of a new year.

In recent years, the water-throwing aspect of Songkran has become more of a party atmosphere, with many young people taking to the streets to splash water on each other and engage in friendly water fights. Despite this shift in tone, the festival remains an important cultural tradition in Thailand, and is recognized as a public holiday across the country.

In addition to the water-throwing festivities, Songkran also involves other traditional customs and practices. One of the most important is the pouring of scented water on Buddha images, which symbolizes the washing away of bad luck and the accumulation of merit. This practice is known as "Rod Nam Dum Hua" and is considered a way to pay respect to one's ancestors and elders.

Another important aspect of Songkran is the creation of sand pagodas. Thai people often visit the beach during the holiday to build intricate sand structures that are believed to bring good luck and blessings. These pagodas are adorned with flowers, incense, and candles, and are seen as a way to honor Buddha and the teachings of Buddhism.

Songkran is also a time for delicious food and traditional sweets, such as "kanom tom," a sweet dessert made of sticky rice and coconut milk, and "khanom krok," a small cake made from rice flour and coconut milk. Additionally, many Thai people wear traditional clothing during the festival, such as "chut thai," which consists of a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a wrap-around skirt for women.

Overall, the Songkran Festival is a time for joy, happiness, and togetherness. It is an opportunity for Thai people to reconnect with their cultural roots, pay respect to their elders, and celebrate the start of a new year with family and friends.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common medical condition where the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. This can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. High blood pressure often does not have any noticeable symptoms, which is why it is sometimes called the "silent killer."

The causes of high blood pressure are not always clear, but several factors can increase the risk of developing the condition. These include age, family history, obesity, a high-sodium diet, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea, can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Treatment for high blood pressure typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Lifestyle changes that can help reduce blood pressure include following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking. Medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers can also be prescribed to lower blood pressure.

It is important for individuals with high blood pressure to monitor their blood pressure regularly and to work with their healthcare provider to manage the condition. This may involve taking medications as prescribed, making lifestyle changes, and monitoring for potential side effects of medication. In some cases, multiple medications may be needed to control blood pressure effectively.

Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. It is important for individuals to take steps to manage their blood pressure and to seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or shortness of breath.

In conclusion, high blood pressure is a common and serious medical condition that can lead to a range of health problems. It is important for individuals to take steps to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure, and to work with their healthcare provider to manage the condition if it is diagnosed. With proper treatment and management, individuals with high blood pressure can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

How To Keep Yourself Healthy In The Winter

Published on 12/05/2019
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Keeping yourself happy and healthy is important 12 months out of the year, but it becomes a bit more challenging to keep up with normal health routines around the holiday season, especially if you live somewhere that gets cold and gloomy throughout the few winter months. You can’t go out as often because of the weather, and it seems to constantly be dark outside. All of these difficulties add up quickly to create a hard time from November through February. We’re here to give you some tips on how to make these months a little less stressful on your everyday lifestyle.

How To Keep Yourself Healthy In The Winter

Eat Even More Fruits And Vegetables Than Normal

In the winter months it can be very easy to use the holidays as an excuse to forget about your healthy eating habits and eat all of the cookies and mashed potatoes that come your way, but we promise you will feel much better if you are more conscious about how many fruits and vegetables you eat throughout the day as well. Of course, eating sweets and unhealthy foods is perfectly okay, but don’t let that become the staple of your diet. Many people forget that their health is still on the line when it’s holiday time, but don’t let yourself become one of those people. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into food items at the dinner table, like eating a side of carrots or broccoli with your mashed potatoes, can be a good way to get the best of both worlds this season.

Take Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that is less-frequently spoken about but needs to receive just as much attention as anything else. Vitamin D is produced naturally by your body when your skin interacts with the sun, which is why people who live in climates that get cold tend to become vitamin D deficient when it’s winter. When you interact with the sun, your body produces vitamin D which has many health benefits, including strong bones and a rockstar immune system. Vitamin D deficiencies can make you feel weak and fatigued, and that is the last thing you want during the winter when you already just want to stay inside and sit by the fire all day.

Don’t Become A Couch Potato

Despite the fact that the air is frigid and the ground is full of snow or ice, try to do one thing every day that will get you up onto your feet and moving around. Instead of spending your whole weekend in bed, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day; this will help your body keep up with its routine of getting up and doing something as you would during the week. Whether it’s taking up winter sports, taking a brisk walk around the block, or just going to the grocery store and back, getting outside and doing something– and seeing the natural sunlight– will do wonders for both your physical and mental health.