Welcome to Thailand! Welcome to the Songkran Festival, The Traditional Thai Water Festival.
Thailand is bathed in water on Songkran, the traditional New Year celebrated annually from 13 to 15 April. The festivities and the celebrations start a few days early and last till many days later. From Bangkok to Chiang Mai and to every other nook and corner, Thai locals and foreigners alike immerse in fun and frolic and bathe, drench and dance in water. It is also celebrated in Burma, Cambodia and Laos.
April is one of the hottest months of the year in Thailand, so being soaked is actually refreshing and a great escape from the heat and humidity. The Songkran Festival is in fact, the celebration of the vernal equinox similar to those of the Indian Holi Festival, the Chinese Ching Ming, and the Christian Festival of Easter. You may also get covered in chalk, a custom originating from the chalk used by monks to mark blessings!
Songkran is all about cleaning, purification, and fresh starts. Buddha statues are gently washed with scented water, houses are cleaned and people honour their elderly by pouring water respectfully over their hands. Several major Songkran celebrations are held in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Khon Kaen among other regions and give you plenty of chance to get wet and wish good luck for the Thai New Year.
Special Celebrations in Chiang Mai
Even though the whole of Thailand including Bangkok, Phuket and other touristy areas is bathed with water and more, the epicentre of the Songkran Festival is Chiang Mai. Huge crowds with people using moat to fill their buckets and water pistols. The biggest, most recognized Thailand Water Festival parade, is held here. Statues from local temples are carried out and paraded through the streets in celebration of this very special time of the year. Everyone is invited to take part in the parade by delicately and respectfully, pouring water over the legs and arms of the Buddha.
Songkran is celebrated nationwide although the date may vary from region to region. Anyway, depending on where you are in the country, just prepare yourself for water fights. And, don’t forget to load up all your weapons for the D-day.
When – 13-15 April 2016
What to expect – Water, water and more water
What to wear – Anything cosy and comfortable. Attack and run is the norm!
Beware – Chalk and other items mixed with water
What to carry – Your own arsenal!
List of weapons –
Lazor Cannon water guns – (effective at long range)
Buckets – (effective at close range, or dumping from a height)
Water pipes – A long-drawn battle weapon. Do not give an inch!
Angry bird guns – Available in all sizes. Effective in concealing and firing through crowds!
Pistols and guns – (repeated bursts) (to send a message to opponent that the battle is on!)
The garden gun/exterminator– high accuracy and massive storage capacity of 20 litres.