Songkran: Thai People’s New Year Celebration

songkran-thailand-water-fight

The Songkran festival is Thailand’s traditional New Year, celebrated on April 13 – 15. There are many different symbolic traditions, like visiting local temples in the morning offering food to the Buddhist monks and pouring water on Buddha statues. Performing water pouring represents purification and is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday.

But the Songkran is most known for its iconic water fight festival, attracting millions of tourists every year. In all cities, the streets become a water war zone; people occupy streets on foot, on the back of pick-up trucks and scooters with water guns and water containers. Locals including children and tourists have a blast throwing water at each other. Involving three days of celebration, Songkran is the longest public holiday in Thailand. Songkran is also celebrated in neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Burma.

Here’s a video from last year when I was walking through my wife’s small hometown with her younger cousin, Aiod. Not as crazy as it is in the resort towns, but a well-soaked session; and I will be back for Songkran 2016.

Featured image (at top) by John Shedrick, flickr.com


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