Songkran Festival in Thailand
Songkran is a time of celebration for New Year in Thailand, and an occasion for most of the population to have a three day party, usually around mid April.
However this is a different sort of party because it involves almost everyone in the country getting wet. For visitors coming to the country for the first time it may seem a slightly odd sight to see locals throwing water over each other, but that is what happens.
The festival origins come from this being the start of the rainy season, and Buddhist monks would sprinkle water over people as a token of good luck.
They still do, but It could be said that the ideal has been taken quite a few steps further on. It is important to bear in mind that having water thrown over you is all part of the fun, and the answer is to have water ready and waiting to return the compliment.
In the cities pick up trucks loaded with barrels of water prowl the Sois, whilst kerb side revelers have water ready and waiting in powerful water pistols or hosepipes. Battles ensue, with everyone getting totally drenched. In Bangkok the bars are full to the brim with regulars whose aim is to spend the day eating drinking and getting wet.
Some tips for Songkran:
If you have to take your mobile/cell phone, with you, make sure it is well wrapped up - a plastic bag, or even better, a condom is ideal. Money should also be put in a bag and kept as dry as possible.
Keep smiling and try not to let the icy cold water someone has just thrown over you get you annoyed.
It can be a bit of a shock to the system, but this is Songkran, enjoy it!!
These pictures were taken while driving to Pattaya through Bang Saen. Bang Saen is a beach in Chonburi about 1 hour away from Bangkok.
Driving to Pattaya through Bang Saen (Old Photos from 2004)
Pick up truck full with wet people, ready to attack!
This is what happened when you rolled you windows down.
Not a shy crowd. All of them having fun.
Keeping the road wet as they go.
Traffic is just to bad, can't wait no more.
I'm coming to get ya, hang on!
Bad Traffic, nothing new.
Oh god! He's coming to get me with powder, the price I had to pay for the picture.
Traffic police doing a good job.
Songkran Festival in Pattaya (Old Photos from 2004)
Looks like the pick up truck is being attacked.
No need to walk around, I can get ya from the bar itself.
Come on honey! It's okay to be wet.
Another pick up truck, this time out of water.
On a bike is fun but perhaps too dangerous.
They are giving me a hand, washing my car! :
Hey kid, you need more than that small pistol to stop me.
If you dare to pass, they are there to splash!
Video of Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai