The Songkran water festival is an event that is best experienced in the Southeast Asian nation of Thailand. The Thai people are typically a warm and welcoming bunch who, especially in resort areas, are well used to the presence of tourists. In the searing heat of mid-April each and every year, the Songkran water festival proves an excellent excuse for Thai locals as well as for visiting tourists to cool off.
The Songkran water festival: A time for celebration and rejuvenation
In the capital city of Bangkok, overseas visitors typically mingle with the locals to join in the huge celebrations that take place across the country. There are often fun-filled events such as street parties and family members come together to celebrate the Thai New Year. It is a time of rest and relaxation, of merriment and goodwill, of reflection on the year that has just passed, as well as cleansing and renewal for the year to come.
A central feature of the Songkran water festival is, obviously, water. For the few days that constitute the Songkran water festival, it seems like just about everyone in the country of Thailand joins together to take part in what is the biggest water fight seen anywhere in the world. Although the Songkran water festival does have a more serious side given its status as a marker for the lunar New Year and an occasion for religious worship, visitors to the country during this time will see that the Thais are certainly a fun loving people.
The Many Uses for Water
The Songkran water festival is a time of significant migration in Thailand, as people travel from one city, town or region of the nation to another in order to meet up with family and friends for the holiday period. As a visitor to Thailand during the period of the Songkran water festival, you are likely to see prayers and offerings being given up to Buddhist monasteries and blessings being asked from images of the Buddha. The local people use the occasion of the Songkran water festival to give thanks for the blessings of the year and hope to experience good luck in the times ahead.
The Songkran water festival sees water utilised in many different aspects of the event. Young people are often seen pouring water that is perfumed over the hands of distinguished elder members of Thai society in a display of respect and reverence for them. The use of water during the Songkran water festival is of course not always so respectful and tranquil. The sight of huge, spontaneous water fights breaking out on the streets of Bangkok, on the resort island of Phuket, in the ancient city of Chiang Mai and in countless other towns and cities across the country, is one that is frequently glimpsed during the Songkran water festival. It is of course all good-natured, clean fun. During the heat of the Thai April, no excuse is needed to cool off, but the Songkran water festival provides an ample one anyway.