Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Celebrate the Thai New Year by Participating in the World's Largest Water Fight
Say you and a couple of friends book some beds at The Yard Hostel in Bangkok. The night before, you participated in a yoga class offered by the hostel. This morning your group is limber and well rested to explore Bangkok.
As you step into the street on April 13, your clothes go from dryer than your fathers humor to wetter than the Pacific. You are hit with a bucket of water, shot at with water guns, and/or hosed down.
What is Songkran?
From April 13-15 Thailand celebrates the Songkran Festival. The world's largest most infamous water fight is celebrated all over Thailand. The capital celebrates Songkran with the Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival.
How do the Festivities Begin?
The celebration begins at Wat Pho, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand honoring a gold plated Buddha. People gather at Wat Pho and other temples to give thanks and invest in good luck for the new year.
How to Celebrate?
Water is used to wash away sins and bad luck from the past year preparing the soul and person for all they will encounter in the New Year. Hence, the heavy use of water throughout the festival. Participation can range from dipping small Buddha statues or photos in water, blanketing others in water(the water fight part), and of course gorging yourself on the banquets of traditional thai food.
Remember to bring water proof items. This will be the best insurance for your camera, phone, and watch. Also make sure to store your money, passport, and documents in a place that will stay dry.
Dress code is another important aspect to respect the local culture. Simple rules include keeping shirts and pants on. Locals celebrating Songkran since birth take disrespect to bikinis and shirtless persons. The festival although strung along on the idea of being the world's largest water fight began with roots in religion. The festival is one scarcity in the Buddhist culture.
The Songkran festival calls folks from the international spectrum to celebrate the coming of a new year. The festival brings in half a million tourists each year to join the water fight. Songkran is the water fight of your dreams. Those times that washing the car transformed into each for themselves in the backyard are treasured memories; Songkran needs no cars with aspirations of being clean to commence war weaponized with water. Songkran is a celebration of life. Welcome the Thai New year next April with water.
Heather shares about how Thai holidays enable her to travel and explore the country. She, like many other teachers crave Thailand specific events like the Full Moon Party, a celebration under the full moon on an exclusive paradise beach.
What festival are you planning your next trip around? Comment below :)
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About our J2 Writer: Antonella Doblanovic
A junior at LMU and passionate traveler with ambitions to excel in the arts of Dance, Theater, and Environmental Studies. She is not yet sure what her future will look like but is working on the notion of being excited by uncertainty, not frightened. She hopes you find excitement in reading about the programs presented through J2TeachAbroad and wishes you the best of luck in your endeavors with J2!