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Songkran — the New Year celebration in Thailand with lots of water

You won't stay dry or fun-loving for very long over Songkran

You won’t stay dry or fun-loving for very long over Songkran

“Thailand has lots of holidays and festivals.   But those other special days — say the Vegetarian Festival — require the visitor to eat weird foods or learn something specific about the culture.  For merrymaking foreigners, Songkran is the perfect holiday.  All they need do is get drunk and use a squirt gun.”  Doug Knell, Doug’s Republicdotbarshort

Doug’s Republic already features a public holiday section for Thailand.  Why then is it so important that Songkran gets its own special section?

Because as I’ve observed, Songkran is the one Thai-specific holiday foreigners know, remember, and wish to experience … once.  I’ve yet to meet a foreigner who knows when or what Buddhist Lent day is.  Or Coronation Day.  Or the Royal Plowing Ceremony Day.   I’ve lived in Thailand for awhile and every time my wife tells me such-and-such a a national holiday is approaching, I have to ask her what the holiday is.  Not for Songkran.  Everyone here knows what Songkran is and unless you go out to some rural hamlet, you are forced to experience it.

Songkran is celebrated all over Southeast Asia, but it’s Thailand that put it on the map.  You could call this the Thai New Year’s Day, and it’s celebrated at the hottest time of the year, at least from April 13 to 15.  Hua Hin celebrated it en masse for just the first day.  In Chiang Mai, festival revelers started partying two days earlier and continued through the 16th.  In Kanchanaburi, the holiday was celebrated for four days.  In Pattaya, there were also Songkran festivities a week after the official event.  When my father-in-law was in the country, we went to Khao San Road, the tourist ghetto of Bangkok.   Although Songkran hadn’t officially started, people were already in full party celebration mode.  In Koh Chang, the holiday was celebrated for all three days.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this amazing article, okay, homeboy?]

Categories : Thailand, Travel

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