Songkran is the Thai new year, which is celebrated each year on April 13 – 15. Traditionally, people pour water on each other, which symbolizes the washing away of sins and bad luck. Today, this means taking to the streets with buckets and water guns to celebrate the holiday.
I always wanted to experience this for myself, so I specifically planned my Thailand trip to culminate in this holiday. I’m really glad I got to experience it firsthand, because it was a lot of fun. I had no idea how big this was, especially in Bangkok. Major streets are closed off, and people go around spraying each other with water. Although this would normally sound like a nightmare, it really wasn’t. Everything was all in good fun. Of course, there were a few times where I was shot directly in the face, but even then, I wasn’t mad at it. Everyone was having a good time. Strangers were having water fights with each other, and they were happy to do so. I can’t imagine what would happen if they ever tried this in NYC.
My parents sat this one out and ducked into a cafe early on. But Ben and I (or probably more so me) wanted to see what the fuss was all about. We were going to be observers but we quickly learned that there is no “observing”. You’re going to get wet. Head to toe. Since we didn’t have any water guns, we couldn’t retaliate. I told him that we’d come back one day with some state of the art water weaponry and really bring it.