Songkran Water Festival 2012 – Thailand’s New Year
Date of Songkran 2012 is from Friday, 13 April 2012 to Sunday, 15 April 2012.
Have you ever wanted to celebrate a different kind of New Year? A new year where, instead of fireworks display and firecrackers hurting your ears, a water fight on a grand scale is your main source of amusement? Hmm…? Sounds like a lot of fun? Bring it on.
This year, from April 13th-15th 2012, people will roam through the streets of Thailand, and mostly armed with toy guns, everyone will playfully drench each other with water. Some will use garden hoses and even fire trucks just to join in the fray. Then there are others, who aren’t very imaginative, they will use old fashioned buckets and will give you a good bath right there in the middle of the street. But a select few, the most creative, will use elephants to spray you down with water coming from its trunks! Welcome to the Songkran Water Festival 2012 – Thailand’s New Year.
Wet and Wild Mayhem
There will be at least three days of pure mischief and enjoyment, exposing every child within us. Which is what we want and what we need, once in a long while, whether we admit it or not. Come to Thailand this April where you can be a child once again without being guilty about it, and believe us, you will most likely welcome the water. It will be the height of summer over there during this period and the scorching sun won’t go easy on your skin. So here’s my tip, pack a bottle of sun block with you, and then some more bottled water for getting splashed all over isn’t exactly a form of rehydration.
Nevertheless, the heat is not the sole reason why the Songkran came about. It has its humble beginnings in the sacred ritual of cleansing Buddha statues performed by monks in temples all over Thailand. From there, the practice spread out to the homes of every devout Buddhist family as a gentle way of washing away the evils from the previous year.
But who honestly cares about boring traditions? It’s a good thing that, over time, this custom has extended into the streets, transforming this once spiritual ceremony into a free for all slugfest, where everyone and anyone, young and old alike, become rowdy participants.
Knowing When to Stop
Of course, not unlike any controlled mayhem, there are certain rules of engagement you must follow. All monks and pregnant women are considered untouchables. The same holds true for homes, hotels and the interior of restaurants. Once the sun goes down, everybody goes home to change into dry clothes and a general cease fire is in effect. Unwritten as they are, still, these rules should be strictly followed. Impulsive tourists can find themselves in trouble with their victims and even with the police. Just don’t say we did not warn you here…
If you want to go through this amazing experience, you should make your reservations now. There are some notable Songkran Festivals lined up for 2012, like the Bangkok Splendor’s Festival, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Songkran Festival, Hat Yai Midnight Songkran Festival and many more. But the Chiang Mai Songkran Festival, being the wettest and the wildest of all, still takes the cake up in the north.