Songkran is a traditional festival celebrated on the 13th, 14th and 15th of April in Thailand which is when the year starts. In this festival, residents get to throw water at each other.
This act has remained just as is since time memorial. It is not adapting to any changes despite technological advances or any change for it to be used as advertising media. It is still about throwing of water and there are no signs of changing it.
It is always a long awaited festival by the entire country and they are always welcoming guests. This celebration is for all despite age of cultural beliefs. Be it the elderly or the young, you can be sure to bring out the youth in you during the water fight.
Songkran water festival is intense and unless you are prepared and equipped for it, it is advisable that you stay indoors. Taking image is about impossible for close-ups as the gear may get damaged. From a safe distance, you could zoom in to take photos for memories sake.
Some of the venues that hold wild songkran Thailand festival water fights include the Khaosan Road and Chiang Mai. In combination with the entire country, Songkran provides the largest water fight the world will ever come to know.
All the country’s cities take on this holiday seriously. You will find individuals on scooters with water guns and others lined up with sufficient supply of water. Other will strategically place themselves on pickup trucks. It is all about survival for the fittest. In addition to plain water, the inclusion of ice tends to notch things up.
During these periods, it is very hot and this is probably one of the best days as the temperatures are lowered. Even the ice has nothing on you as the patrol truck supply the ice.However, ice-cold water is not part of the festivities on this day. It is either water or ice and not frozen water. The aspect of the holiday is to have fun and not raise the possibilities of risk whether physical or medical.
These festivities take up to three days. In these three days, anyone can pour water on you at any time they so wish. Initially, once the skies darkened, the water fight seized. Currently, they even start earlier so they get started a day before the indicated celebrations. From a distance, you would think that all the activities were out of hand but once you get a hang of things, you get to realize that the situation is actually under control. It is not a war but a celebration.
In the event that you get caught up and you had luggage on you, all you need do is hold your luggage over your head. You will notice that throwing water has its limits. They can only soak you in water but remain respectful with each other’s property.
Other than property, there are situations that were understandable. For example, if you have a cast for an injury or you are on a wheel chair, you are an exempt and so are the aged. Children on the other hand get to enjoy the fun but are treated as such. Their festivities are gentle. Teamwork is also inevitable as you watch family members arm themselves.
At the Romans, do as they do and while in Thailand during this season, loosen up and enjoy the festivities even if you are a foreigner. You may back out in the beginning but once you get the hang of things, you are more likely to embrace enjoy the moment.
If you are not up to the festivities, it is advisable that you do not get out on the streets as once you are out in the street; you are definitely calling for a water fight.
Thailand is rated one of the safest countries and it is important that you do not provoke anyone. You getting soaked for Songkran is not a reason to destroy the prevailing peace.
Even with an effort to try and control these numbers with the government insisting on road safety, the numbers turned out almost similar as the previous years. Currently, the government must identify a long-term effect as the short-term solution did not bear fruit. Until there is a solution, tourists are advised to remain indoors avoiding the festivities or getting soaked.
In this, unless you are up to the festivities, it is best you find another destination to cool off. On the other hand, if you are up to trying the Songkran festivities, you may live to remember the lovely memories, sometimes, some individuals mix the water with methylated talc which leaves you looking white.
One of the side effects is damaged smart phones due to exposure to water. This has led to the destruction of Android and iOS devices. If you are going to attend the festivities, protect your devices. The right preparation prevents losses of any king and guarantees fun moments all through the three days. It may cost you extra but it is worth it.
During this season, there are those who do not mind the water and look at it as a business opportunity. In this, you will find vendors moving around trying to sell you plastic bags. These bags prevent the water from getting into the stores devices or equipment.
While it may simple to talk about the activities of Songkran, but taking images for remembrance can be a difficult task. Trying to take photos while protecting the equipment is a risk that many people are not willing to take.
However, if you gain access to the right protective gear, your may take on some photos.
The Songkran festival water fight marks great history in Thailand. It does not discriminate and as long as you are fit, you can break a leg and outdo yourself. Get someone soaked and live the Thailand dream, happy songkran !
Do’s & Don’ts in Songkran
Do use waterproof bags to protect your valuables
Do watch your belongings
Do use public transportation if you are heading to one of Songkran ‘hotspots’, as traffic will be paralyzed
Do try wishing the locals a happy new year in Thai – “Sawasdee Pee Mai!”
Do smile and have fun
– Do not
Do not douse monks, babies or the elderly
Do not drive when you have been drinking
Do not throw water with ice or dirty water
Do not throw water at motorcyclists, to prevent road accidents