12th – 15th April 2012
Every year on 13th April, Thailand comes to a standstill to celebrate the new year. And believe me, you do not want to miss it!
I was very fortunate to be here for this water festival which started off as a pilmagrage to Buddha to bless him by pouring water over his many statues in order to cool him down. However, since it all started, many Thai residents particularly in Chiang Mai and Bangkok take this opportunity to go all out crazy by water fighting with each other with supersoakers to cool down in the middle of their hot season.
Even Laos gets in the action and what I hear it’s all out crazy!
This festival, which by the way is….AMAZING…, brings everyone together even the whole town together judging by Chiang Mai when I was there and we delight each other wearing a permanent smile, enthusiasm to spray each other with our supersoakers or if you are feeling truly evil a bucket of extremely ice cold water to pour over unsuspecting westerners and register their shock.
Over the 4 days we celebrated Songkran, we did this:
12th April – painting our SpicyThai open truck with messages such as England rules and Scotland sucks in the morning in preparation to drive round the old town square. We drove and truly water fought with many local Thais. Even splashed in the moats surrounding the square. This when I realised I needed sunglasses as after being squirted in the eye for the 100th time of manky moat water.
13th April – officially Songkran! – we drove to a house that was making good food for the Buddha himself to hark back the old traditions. We all helped making it and tried out the food. In the afternoon, we drove to the old square and walked up one side of the square that took 4 hours! On the way back, we were freezing from the ice cold buckets of water but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Myself, John and Sabrina walked all the way back and still kept getting soaked! Happy Songkran!
14th April – similar to the first day, we piled back in the open truck but I opted to stay in the cb so I could take some neat photos of the action without fear of getting the camera wet. But pretty soon, I was out in the action. And we spent most of the day, shaking hands with the famous Thai pop stars whilst being in the front row of the music stages! It was pretty legendary so John, Sabrina and I thought!
15th April – taking a break, we went to the nearby lake to relax but that didn’t stop trucks pelting past us at 100s kilometres an hour to throw ice cold buckets of water at us! Got truly soaked but managed to dry the clothes out on the lake beach and I even swam in the murky waters of the lake, didn’t get Ill woo!
Songkran is certainly an experience to remember if I do get the chance, I will be there next year without a doubt.
Happy new year!
What did you do for Songkran?