Enjoying Songkran Festival (THAI NEW YEAR 2021)

Last updated: 2021-03-13  |  406 Views  | 

Thai New Year

The word Songkran is from the Sanskrit language and means the passage of the sun from one sign of the Zodiac to another. The date was originally set by astrological calculations, but it is now fixed on 13 April. The country closes down for the holiday, focusing entirely on the festival and the accompanying holiday rituals.

Over the years, Songkran has become a massive tourist draw. Travelers and backpackers alike flock to the country to take part, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to ring in the New Year by dumping buckets of cold water on each other.

Dr. Roni talks about his experiences of the Thai water festival and the traditional festivities of Songkran, which is celebrated every year from the 13th to the 15th of April. It is renowned throughout the world for its festive water celebration.

Being in Thailand for the New Year, we witnessed a country overcome by a contagious atmosphere of positivity and optimism. In spite of being drenched for three days running, and having clothes and sightseeing plans ruined, it was impossible to be annoyed: Songkran demonstrates Thailand’s ever-affirmative outlook on life.

It is impossible to leave your hotel room without encountering the mayhem, and you will soon find any resistance dwindling. Children, adults and the elderly dance together on the pavements; truckloads of teenagers, pumping heavy bass, maraud the streets; and the ever present street dogs take refuge wherever they can.

Khao San Road is the undisputed hub of activity for Bangkok’s modern celebration of Songkran. Cordoned off to traffic, the atmosphere in the backpacker district is electric. Thai and Farang (foreigners) alike hold posts equipped with cannon-sized water guns, pressure hoses and gigantic cooler boxes, with suitably strong men manning the buckets beside them.

In fact, my favorite moment involves the immigration officers: an officer and I got into a water fight and I sprayed his partner who was not wet. He looked at me like I was about to get arrested. I was the stupid foreigner who took it too far. He walked over to me, took my squirt gun, stepped back and his partner and him teamed up on me. We all had a good laugh!

It’s a very high spirited holiday and everyone is just out to have a great time.

To help you make the most out of this epic water fight, here are some tips:
·       Chiang Mai and Bangkok have the biggest celebrations but you’ll find little celebrations all over the country.
·       In Bangkok, Khao San Road and Silom hold the two biggest celebrations.
·       Plan to be wet all the time. Even if you have a backpack or bag, people will still spray you with water. There’s no escape unless you are inside.
·      The only way to avoid being wet is to have a camera or cigarette. If people see you with one, they won’t spray you with water.
·      Just have fun. There’s no malice involved here so if you get wet and you didn’t want to, just go with it. It’s the holiday and you just have to accept it. They even pour water on people driving motorcycles.
·     One of the most fun things to do is get in a tuk-tuk or truck and ride around the city spraying people with water. You get into some of the most amazing water fights and meet a lot of people. I highly recommend this during at least one day.
·     Wear goggles. People are going to be shooting or throwing water at you all day long. You never know when the next attack will come, so get some goggles to protect your eyes. It will save you from squinting all day long.
·     With so many people taking part in this festival, accommodation sells out quickly. If you’re planning to attend Songkran, make sure you book your hostel early.

Songkran takes place all over the country and, if you are in Thailand during this time, you will experience it. You can’t miss it. It’s like the one thing that brings everyone together here. Prepare to get wet. Prepare to have to fun! It’s one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.


Picture By sawasdee

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