The Songkran Festival which is also the Thai New Year starts on from the 13th of April to the 15th of April will have you all soaked into the hustle and bustle that consists of three days of fun-filled water-fights and non-stop revelries. As a matter of fact, the city of Bangkok sees the largest of Songkran parties being swamped on the Silom Road, Khao San Road and RCA, albeit splashing and merriments happening on any given street of the city. The visitors, on the other hand, can get a non-chaotic customary pulse of the Songkran celebrations in any temple of Bangkok.
What is Songkran?
Songkran stands to be the most popular festival of Thailand that marks the beginning of the new solar year and the start of the summer season as well.
This year, it will officially start on April 13, (although some cities start off celebrating this festival a few days before) and the celebration continues for three to five days, based on the location.
Conventionally, friends and family celebrate Songkran by splashing water on each other in the form of a wish for a year filled with blessings and by visiting temples.
All these years, the holiday has come out to be a water fight across the nation and a great reason to party and travel. So make sure that you book in advance before you hit the road since the trains and buses along with the hotels are packed with both international and Thai Travelers during the Songkran period.
Where to Celebrate?
The residents can be seen splashing water on one another for just one day on the streets of some Thai towns hence you will have to check before you travel. Other towns carry on with the festival merriments by extending them into one week of ceremonies, concerts, water fights and other revelries.
Points To Ponder Before You Hit The Streets:
In case you are not a Songkran trouper, here are some things that you may want to consider before get onto the streets.
Play By the Rules:
Make sure you fight with clean water which may be either tap water or those popular large jugs of water. And ensure that the water is not hot. Although water of room temperature should be fine, but depending on how hot it is outside, pouring ice-cold water on the people should not be a problem as long as you are not striking them ice cubes. More so, you can fight with water pistols, water buckets, cups and with garden hoses for that matter. High pressure hoses and guns are, on the other hand are prohibited for safety reasons failing to adhere to which those may be confiscated and you may be charged with a heavy fine for using them.
Moreover, majority of people play a fair game on the streets, but make sure you are careful enough not to shoot the passersby in the eyes since this is deemed to be irritating and dangerous. Ladies have to exercise special care as some alcohol-fueled revelers may get too touchy, hence they will need to be on guard for the perverts when playing.
Avoid Wet Powder:
A nice way to get into the real essence of Songkran is to let someone apply wet powder to your face. The applying of powder is done to for extending a ‘blessing’ to you which stays with you even after your clothes have been dried up. However, be wary because some of the people may not have very clean hands and the powder may clog the pores of your skin and it may leave you looking like an acne-plagued teenager after a couple of days the water was last poured on you. So, to avoid this, in case you have a dry bag, make sure you carry a bottle of clean water with you separately to wash off the powder with it. And in case you want to completely avoid the wet powder, go to Khao San Road since its usage is prohibited there.
Getting soaked is inevitable in case you are out in the battlefields of Songkran hence it is important that you dress up accordingly. Make sure, you don’t dress up in whites unless you thoroughly known what is there under the clothes. Putting on a swimsuit underneath will be a great idea in case you want to maintain the dignity once an elephant pressure-hoses you. Moreover, don’t put on thick fabrics like denims as they may get really uncomfortable and heavy. Try to dress up as if you are going to a beach. Board shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops may work out to be just fine for the occasion. Also, remember to put on swimming goggles since at times the water may not be that clean and can cause infections and irritations.
Bring A Waterproof Bag Along:
In case you are planning to get into the action, put all your valuables and electronics in a waterproof bag. A plastic waterproof pouch or a Ziploc will be just fine. Make sure you hide your bag inside your shirt or get it buttoned in case it is possible.
Carry A Waterproof Camera:
There is always room for capturing crazy moments of the event and a great and inexpensive way to do this is to get a waterproof camera that will help you capture those fanatic moments in style while you yourself are enjoying the merriments and the chaos that is in the air.
Get A Waterproof Necklace For Your Valuables:
You can get that waterproof necklace from the stands that sell water pistols. The better version of this comes for sixty Baht which is available with a clear plastic on all the sides. You will have a handy case for yourself in less than $2 that will help you keep your phone and money conveniently and can hang it around your neck. What’s more? You can take great pictures through the clear plastic as well.
Last but not the least, embrace the fun and all the soaking and it is sure that you will feel at the end of the holiday that you still can’t get enough of it.