Songkran is a very special time of year to be in Thailand. It is a country wide festival, that celebrates the beginning of the Thai New Year and is the ultimate party to attend! This amazing event happens annually starting on the 13th of April & depending on where you are in Thailand, the festivities can last anywhere between 24 hours, up to 5 days!
The “water festival” as it is often referred to, has become a major tourist attraction; bringing people from far & wide wanting to gain first hand experience of this event & immerse them-selves in Thai culture.
Traditionally, Songkran is marked as a public holiday & as a result, many Thai’s take the opportunity to re-unite with their relatives & make regular daily visits to the temple to pray. Being a predominantly Buddhist country, the temples become a real focal point for many of the Thai families during this time. You may hear the Thai’s greeting each other with “sa-wat-di pi mai” which means “Happy New Year.”
The splashing of water, or what is now thought of as a national water fight, symbolizes new beginnings & cleansing of the body & soul. As April is one of the hottest months of the year throughout the country, why not cool down by throwing water at each other.
When it comes to equipping your self with the right water pistol the choice is endless, there is anything from little ones, which you can hide in your pocket, to huge ones that make you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the terminator!
On Koh Tao, Songkran is mainly hosted on the beach, with massive sound systems playing party music; all the beach bars are beautifully decorated & the atmosphere is electric with everyone smiling & having a great time.
As we all know fresh water is a becoming a very important commodity, this is why during Songkran places like Koh Tao that do not have large fresh water reserves, tend to celebrate the festival for just one day.
Here on Koh Tao water is very precious and is something we look after. Most of the water fights take place on the beach so obviously there is no problem there, as we have an abundance of sea water for everybody to use.
There are a few tips I have for you during the Songkran festival; keep your valuables in the hotel or guest house safety deposit box. Any thing you need to keep with you keep in a plastic bag or one of those round water proof containers that you get can get in most of the shops. If you plan on taking a camera with you, it is at your own risk, if you don’t have proper waterproof housing for it.
As a lot of Thai’s use this public holiday to go to see their family, travelling during and directly before & after Songkran around Thailand can be very busy, so it is advisable to book your travel & accommodation well in advance so as not to be disappointed.
From the North of Thailand right down to the very south it does not matter where you are for those 1 to 5 days Songkran happens all around you & it is a fantastic experience – enjoy!
Tags: Festivals, Koh Tao, Songkran, Water