It’s mid-April, and that can only mean one thing. Are you up for Thailand’s biggest water fight? The Luxe Nomad tells you what you need to know to survive this crazy festivity!
What is it?
Songkran Festival is also known as Thailand Water Festival. Celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year, it is probably the most important festival for the Thais. Songkran typically falls on 13-15 April every year (although the celebrations usually start before and end well after the official holiday) – somewhat fitting as it’s also the hottest time of the year in Thailand!
What to do?
Besides getting drenched, that is? Well, the Thais started off sprinkling water on their elders as a sign of respect and good fortune, while also paying homage to Buddha images and statues. Because of this, Songkran is known as the Water Festival. These days, the festival has evolved into splashing strangers on the streets with water, either with water gun or bucket of water, all in the spirit of good fun. If you’re in Thailand during this period, you’re not likely to escape, which leads us to…
Top 10 Songkran survival tips
1. Leave your camera, mobile phone, electronic gear (unless it’s water proof), expensive sunglasses, watches and jewellery behind – you’ll be soaked from head to toe.
2. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. Shorts/swimwear with t-shirts are perfect.
3. If you can’t beat them, join them! Make sure you bargain with vendors selling water pistols. Some are powerful and can douse up to 15 metres in one squirt! Failing which, just buy a bucket.
4. Purchase ice-cold water anywhere to fill up your water pistol or bucket. You’ll probably get splashed while you’re at it, but it’s the best way to cool down in the heat!
5. Carry enough cash with you to last a day and night. You’ll be the perfect target if you stand around an ATM.
6. Don’t bother going inside to bars or shops to buy your drinks. Stay outside or risk catching a cold because the air conditioning will freeze you if you’re drenched in water (trust us, you will be).
7. You might think it’s funny spraying passing motorbikes and tuk-tuks, but we might draw a line at blinding the driver with water. That’s just not cool. Same goes for babies, the elderly and anyone eating.
8. The water used in water pistols isn’t always the cleanest. You should definitely get your Tetanus and Malaria jabs before you consider travelling there during Songkran.
9. This is probably the only time you’ll get to ‘shoot’ a uniformed police officer, but it’s a good idea to ask permission before doing so.
10. Wear white if you want hundreds of people to see your entire anatomy.
And finally, what to say?
Happy Songkran Day: Suk-san wan songkran
Happy New Year: Sa-wat-dee pee mai or Suk-san pee mai
(Photo credits: plus.google.com and complex.com)