Thailand is one of the most amazing holiday destinations you can imagine. A travellers dream and if you have not been yet,then all I can say is GOOOOO.
I can’t stop myself from promoting this beautiful country which offers almost everything you can think of when you looking for a holiday.
Sun, beaches,mountains,wildlife,friendly people,temples,bustling cities, great food and if you want to party, then some of the best raves and full moon parties you can think off. It’s a travellers paradise and yes Thailand was the first country I visited as a solo traveller back in the days. I have subsequently visited this country umpteen times and yet there is something new to be discovered every time I have gone back.
This time I was lucky enough to find myself in the middle of the most celebrated festival in Thailand and the Thai New Year. – SONGKRAN.
Happy New Year!
It’s April and yes its New Year, as Thailand follows the lunar calendar and this Land of smiles turns into one massive water party during this time of the year.
The Thai New Year’ Day is officially the 13 April every year, but the celebrations normally start on the 12th and don’t stop until the 16th. And that’s when the Songkran festival is celebrated.
Everyone has to expect to get wet during Songkran.If you’re heading to Thailand during this time, don’t expect to stay dry for long when out in public. No one is exempt.
What is Songkran?
One of the most important events on the Buddhist calendar, Songkran marks the beginning of the annual rain season.
The word “songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti and literally means “astrological passage” It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart.
Happening at the end of the dry season the festive days give locals an opportunity to show their respect for water, the most important element for agriculture. And what better way then to show your respect by throwing water buckets on each other! Yes that is how they show their respect in this festival.
What was once a simple visit to a local temple has turned into a revolution with water pistols, balloons and general splashing about.
The Thai still visit their local temples to pray and wash Buddhist statues which is said to bring prosperity and luck for the year ahead.
Songkran festivities may last as long as four or five days, and involve music, dancing and liberal amounts of alcohol.
Revellers move around the streets in open trucks with barrels of water, drenching everyone in sight.
Bangkok is relatively less busy during this holiday, as most locals return home to celebrate this festival with their loved ones. If you are in Bangkok during Songkran like i was ,you’ll find designated water zones across the city. Khao San Raod in Bangkok is a popular Songkran destination, with both locals and tourists enjoy this festival and douse each other with water.
Remember that the festival is fun so take the splash in good spirit.
What did surprise me was in-spite of the huge crowds and liberal amounts of alcohol limits there was no misbehaviour and a very child friendly atmosphere everywhere I went.
The children absolutely loved it and if we did get another chance to experience it again we would not miss this for the world.
“Sawadee Bee Mai” meaning “Happy New Year”.
Your survival kit:
* a water gun,
* a waterproofed camera/smart phone.
* some money to spend.
* positive attitude and ready to get wet and have a great time.
Find the nearest battle spot and go there in the afternoon. There are several locations in and around all major towns and cities in Thailand.
Depending on your location you would probably want to go to the biggest one.
So if you’re in Bangkok, your destination is Khao San Road, or Siam.
I have never experienced anything like this in my life, so if you can make it to Thailand during Songkran dont think twice.