Splash It Out at Songkran Festival!
Songkran Festival is one of the most important national holidays in Thailand. It marks the beginning of solar calendar, which also means the beginning of many different aspects of life. It’s an important celebration for Thai people, where there will be some temple ceremonies and water fights goin on!
If you happen to find photos of a bunch of people in Thailand holding water guns, squirting water to each other impulsively at the first quarter of the year, it is most likely that they are celebrating Songkran Festival. Songkran, a national holiday of Thai New Year, is a Buddhist celebration and Thailand’s most important public holiday. In the capital city Bangkok, Songkran is celebrated for 3 days(but likely continue until weekend), but in other parts of Thailand like northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai the celebration lasts for a week.
The word ‘songkran’ itself is derived from Sanskrit, which means “astrological passage”. The dates of the festival were traditionally set by Brahmin priests, but nowadays the days are fixed—from April 13 to April 15. It also marks the end of the dry season, and April is the hottest month in Thailand. So now we know why Songkran’s water-fight is always highly celebrated—it’s like a grateful moment of finally being (slightly)free from the heat(well, it’s always sunny in Thailand, isn’t it? ;)).
There are many forms of Songkran celebration. Some celebrate it in quieter manner by visiting their local temple to pray and to wash their Buddha statues, or doing cleansing ritual in their house shrines to bring luck and prosperity in the following year. While some other celebrate it with a higher dose of festivity, by those famous water-fights. There will be a lot of splashing and merriments in the big streets of Thailand. People will roam the streets with big water guns in hands, and some even bring out their pickups and loaded it with buckets of water, and they will soak any people within reach with that ammunition! It’s hard to stay dry during this festival, especially for tourists because Thai people will make sure that you’ll get the full experience of the Songkran Water Festival 😀
This act of splashing water on one another is the form of wish for a year filled with blessings, so it will be a very heartwarming festivities where people wishing goodness for one another. But still we have to keep in mind that we should play by the rules, such as we should use clean water instead of using any found liquids e.g. flavoured beverages. It is also prohibited to splash people in the eye or using high-pressured water gun/hose since it might harm your target.
We also need to pay attention to our outfit. Make sure that you don’t join the fun by wearing whites, unless you don’t mind showing anyone what’s underneath it—wearing swimsuit inside will be a good idea. Dress like you’re going to the beach, as it will be really wet. You can also consider to bring along goggles since you can be splashed out anytime, even when your eyes not ready for it. There’s also a chance that people will apply wet powder to your face, in order to ‘extend’ the blessing to you, so don’t worry if out of sudden there’s some people applying powder on you. And last but not least, bring a waterproof-anything—waterproof camera, waterproof case for your phone, and most importantly a waterproof bags! They’re great to enable you stay close with your valuable stuffs without endangered them to any damages caused by water. So, are you ready to get wet?
Text : Nadia Maya Ardiani
Images : phuket.com, travelmonitor.co.au
*Our Northern Thailand’s Songkran Festival Trip will be on 11-17 April 2018. For booking and more info check in this website or simply contact us via phone/WhatsApp/social media.