It is Songkran in Thailand – the Thai New Year. What’s not to like? Almost a week off work, hot weather returns to Bangkok, tons of great food, throwing water on each other and the third New Year we’ve had since traditional New Years Day on January 1 followed by Chinese New Year in early February and now Songkran in mid-April. What a great place to be.
What was once only a special and somewhat personal ritual between friends and family, Songkran has somehow morphed into a countrywide water fight involving 60 million people. The original tradition still carried out in many homes and all temples is cleansing of the Buddha images with scented water from silver bowls. The rite was also done as a sign of respect and thanks from younger to older family and friends.
Today the entire country engages in throwing, spraying, shooting and dumping large quantities of water over one another, young and old. Some battles can be quite heated and most sois (smaller streets) turn into gauntlets of drenching fun. The downside is that the fun also means carelessness, drunkenness and dangerous driving.
So I’ll stay off the roads, enjoy the fun and water on our soi and get a third shot at all those New Years resolutions.
All the best… Vic