Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Songkran is actually the Thai New Year. Most people know it as the Thai water festival. Traditionally it's founded on rituals performed during the hot season to help bring on the rainy season...by splashing water all around you will remind the gods that it's time to rain. If the rain starts after Songkran has ended it means everyone did everything right (it also helps that mid-April is the end of the hot season).
Nowadays it means filling up barrels of water and soaking anyone and everyone! Age, status, appearance- none of this matters. The only way to stay dry is to stay inside- and where's the fun in that? Plus, it's about the only time one can roam around during the day and not be beaten down by the heat.
Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, is the biggest party. Well, the south is said to have plenty big shindigs as well, but I've only been to the party in Chiang Mai. Not only is it the typical gathering of foreigners but the Thais are into this holiday full force. This year I saw a truck with a robotic water sprayer attatched to the front and a family of locals in the back (who were sporting barrels of ice water to throw at people).
Flower shirts, water guns of every size, swimming in the city moat (it gets cleaned right before the holiday starts), and spraying people with water for no other reason than "It's fun!"- Songkran is my favorite Thai holiday.