Songkran Water Festival
Love it or hate the Songkran water festival is upon us once again, personally I don’t much care for it.
Originally the Songkran water festival was a quaint custom meant to wash away the sins and bad luck of the previous year.
The old custom was carried out by elders, simply by the pouring of a small amount of water over the hands.
The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions.
Mornings begin with merit-making, visiting local temples and offering food to the monks is a common practice.
Pouring water on Buddha statues is considered a good luck ritual for this holiday as well.
Somewhere along the line, it morphed into a full blown water fight, in Pattaya it can last nearly 2 weeks.
As little as 10 years ago, the water throwing ended with sunset, these days it seems to go on all night as well.
The Songkran water festival also rings in the Thai New Year, which is 13 April every year, the holiday period also includes 14–15 April.
The New Year of many calendars of South and South East Asia, it coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart.
The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.
If you have never experienced it, then you have to dig in and see if having copious quantities, of at times dodgy, freezing cold water thrown at you is your cup of tea or not.
Also be prepared to have white powder mixed with water smeared all over your face or even poured over you by the over zealous.
In any case, Happy Songkran Water Festival.
A word of warning, riding motor bikes around the streets of Pattaya during this period can be extremely dangerous and many die during Songkran in Thailand every year.
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