Sunday, April 13, 2008

Songkran

I have talked a lot about Songkran in other entries and it was something I was really looking forward to. In some cities in Thailand it is a 3 day festival but in Krabi where I was it was only big for one day April 13th. I have no idea why the 12th 13th and 14th of April is celebrated as the New Year in Thailand. The date is different than the Chinese or Vietnamese New Year.

I have since read somewhere that the water comes from a tradition of pouring some water over a Buddha statue and the proper way to celebrate Songkran is to pour water over someone’s hand to wish them a happy New Year. I did see the proper way done sometimes when someone was carrying a phone or something but most of the time it was just dumping as much water as possible onto someone. This is actually worse with foreigners. Foreigners like myself don’t know what this is all about and just see it as a big party and think splashing everyone is a lot of fun. I read after Songkran you are not really suppose to throw water at people on a motorbike unless they slow down because it can cause someone to crash. I did not think about this and made a point to throw water at anyone seeming to try and escape the water by speeding up on the motorbike. Here is one of the few pictures I took during the day.




One of the things that they also do is to put baby powder on each other. This can be done by just throwing the baby powder or by what seems to be the preferred method of adding water to the powder and then rubbing a little bit on your cheeks and forehead. I prefer the second way myself because baby powder in the eyes is not really pleasant. Here I am after being powdered.



The thing I was not prepared for was the water that had been iced prior to having it thrown on you. It is just a real shock to your body to have ice water thrown over you but as hot as it is in Thailand it does not take log to recover.

I walked around Krabi for most of the day having water thrown on me and sometimes throwing water on others. There are pickup trucks that just drive around town with people in the back and big trash barrels filled with water throwing it. There are also people that just stand at the side of the road with water so a truck will pull up to the group on the side of the road that they will proceed to throw water on each other and then the truck with move on. Also trucks going in the opposite directions will stop and throw water. It was fun to watch and to join in from time to time.

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