Welcome to Thailand! Hope you enjoyed being dry because for the next four days you’re going to be doused with water via super soakers, buckets of water and sprayed with water hoses when you leave the house.
The craziest four days of my life and by far the best festival I’ve ever been to. I’m talking about Songkran.
Thailand’s new year is celebrated every April. The Thai’s pour water as a symbol to wash away sins and bad luck and purify and bring good luck for the new year. This 4-day festival is celebrated by many activities.
Wan Sungkharn Long
A parade is held this day starting at Nawarat Bridge and ends at Wat Phra Singh. Here you will see the town’s people marching, bands playing musical instruments, and Buddha floats, where attendants take holy water from the crowd and pour it on the Buddha.
Today local residents go to Mae Ping River to collect sand to be put into mounds at the temples to create flag sand castles.
This is the day the new year begins and traditionally this is the day the water pouring begins, it once was a practice of pouring gently, but has now turned into a fun water throwing festival (Starting on Day 1).
On the last day of Songkran respect is paid to the ancestors and elders.
Each city in Thailand celebrates Songkran in their own way, but Chiang Mai is by far the biggest party. Everyone gets involved from little kids to the elders. The main party is around the moat where you’ll find trucks filled with people on the back throwing buckets of water on the people walking on the street. You’ll find the people on foot running up to Songtaew and tuk tuks spraying the riders with super soakers and buckets of water from the barrels around the moat. Motorbikes aren’t safe from the water fight either. If you’re daring enough to be on a bike, you will get a bucket of water thrown in your face. You’ll see people riding 2-3 people on them with their water guns to retaliate back.
And just to throw some fun in the mix? There are vendors on the side of the road selling ice blocks to put in the barrels of water. So if you are in the path of a truck, you are likely to get a big bucket of ice cold water thrown at you.
Songkran is a fun festival where everyone is happy and friendly. They throw buckets of water on you then let you refill your weapons with their water. The kids were the most fun to get in a water fight with. S0 cute and they really get into it!
Some of the Thai’s walk around with clay mixture that they put on your face, and you’ll see them on cars.
Also around the moat are numerous stages and tents with booming music, plenty of street food carts, and dance parties at Tha Phae Gate lasting until late in the evening.
In town shop owners have barrels set up for you to reload and are equipped with water hoses to spray anyone that passes by either by foot or vehicle. Our neighbors were well equipped with hoses, water buckets, and water guns. Once we stepped outside the safety of our home, we were free game. Within a matter of minutes, I was drenched from head to toe.
By far the most fun I’ve had. Definitely one to put on the bucket list, if it’s not already.