When I first heard of Songkran, I was told the Thai New Year would this year be celebrated the 12th of April and the festivities would last 4 days in a row. ‘What are the festivities?’ I asked. ‘Throwing water on each other’. I could not really picture how throwing water on each other could last 4 days. Also, I could hardly believe it was all there is to it. No rituals? No ceremonies in temples or in family homes? No special foods, songs, dances or whatsoever? Just… water?
Yes. Just water. Loads and loads of water. More water than your average Monsoon.
Being in Chiang Mai, we happily participated in the water throwing all around town. Traditionally, pouring water over someone’s shoulder is believed to bless that person for the new year. Nowadays, thousands of people gear themselves up with huge buckets and supersoakers. Let the water fight begin!
Regardless if you’re walking, cycling, driving a motorbike or car: you will receive the blessing. A thousand times. So leave all your electronic devices at home and prepare to be continuously soaking wet for the next 4 days.
The last day of Songkrong we felt we had our share of water throwing and decided to head out to Pai, up north in the mountains and a 4 hour ride by motorbike. Naively thinking that on the fourth day, the Thai must have gotten tired themselves too and outside of Chiang Mai the people in the villages must have returned to their fields by now, etc. Were we wrong!! We weren’t dry for even one minute throughout the entire ride to Pai.