Most of us know that Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world with tourists flocking this tropical haven in thousands all year. We can go on about the beaches, shopping arenas and other attractions of Thailand but that is not what we are going to be talking about today.
Thailand is a highly cultural country with a number of festivals and wide variety of religious events all around the year. But, did you know that every year in April, Thailand hosts the world’s largest water fight! It is an old festival tradition in Thailand known as “Songkran”, and marks the New Year according to the Thai Lunar calendar. For young adults, who are looking for a good fun break, there isn’t possibly a better time to visit Thailand. Falling on 13th April and celebrated for three days, the Songkran water festival is every water fight you can imagine, times a million.
The tradition is an example of beautiful Thai culture revealing the joy, generosity, warmth, and respect of the Thai people. During Songkran, Thai people use water and scents to convey love and concord to each other. On the crazier side, nobody is safe from attack! All the city streets of Bangkok are transformed into temporary water war zones. Every citizen is armed and trigger happy. From small children with tiny water pistols, through to roving gangs of smiling adults driving the latest pickup-trucks that have been converted into mobile water cannons, everyone takes part. If you head outdoors, you will get wet, whether you like it or not. Even the elephants get involved by spraying onlookers with their trunks to join in the fun!
Now you might want to know the logic behind the throwing of water, right? To the people of Thailand, the spraying of the water is a sign of spiritual renewal and cleansing. This special time of year is paired with spring-cleaning and lighthearted pranks.
What also surprises most foreigners, is the experience of being openly welcomed by the people of Thailand to take part in such an authentic large scale traditional festival. It’s not known as the “The Land of Smiles” for no reason.
There are a few precautions that you should take. First, if you take a camera, you should assume it will be destroyed by water. Revelers will happily aim for your camera for the pure joy of it. Same goes for all electronics as they are not going to survive the Thai Songkran experience. Also, dress appropriately for the occasion and possibly sport sunglasses, just to avoid any mishaps with the eye.
If you are in Bangkok at this time of the year you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable time celebrating what is surely one of the best festivals you will ever attend.