Water, water everywhere! This was the first time I’ve ever experienced “Songkran”. I haven’t been to many festivals in my life but this was definitely the best. Its basically a water festival that marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. The name “Songkran” comes from Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’. It’s usually around the 13-15th of April each year.
Water is an important element of Songkran, you will walk down the streets and be aware you will get wet but it’s nice to actually be part of it and experience the Thai culture in this way as well. They believe throwing water on you will be a symbol of washing your sins away from the past year.
Some people also visit temples for prayer and offerings to show respect. This water festival in Thailand involves merrymaking, presenting offerings to monks, releasing birds and fishes into the river, paying respect to elders, listening to sermons and, more importantly, splashing of water. This is believed to bring longevity, good health, and prosperity.
This year I’ve experienced it in Hua Hin, just south of Bangkok. I’ve lived in Hua Hin about 3 weeks 2 years ago when I did a short course with XploreAsia and it was nice to be back again and celebrate Songkran with the Xploreasia family and also a good friend. We’ve started to walk down the streets on a Friday night, everyone was wearing floral/vibrant shirts and I’ve felt like a kid again walking down the street with a colorful water gun.
They decorated the streets with colorful flags, music playing, kids were chasing you to throw a bit of water on you, even elderly people will have cups of water and throw it on you, everyone was throwing water buckets on you, (be aware you will get soaked) sometimes freezing cold and sometimes it was extremely dirty water 🙂 but I can not describe how great it felt to be part of it all. It was quite an atmosphere that I don’t have even enough words to describe, you got to experience it for yourself. If you are a tourist just try to experience that at least once in your life.
The next day we’ve celebrated it at Xplore Asia, had lunch with everyone and throwing each other with water and then after that, we ‘ve celebrated it in a waterpark. There was literally water all over, it’s definitely an experience that I will never forget. It was refreshing and really fun!
Happy Songkran! May you all be blessed with happiness.
สวัสดีปีใหม่ / Sawadee pi mai (happy new year)
Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!