Posts Tagged ‘Songkran Festival’

Songkran Festival: In the Battlefields of a Nationwide Water War

Armed for Songkran- Photo by Talen of thailandofsmiles.com 

The moment you’ve locked eyes with your target, it’s already too late. You maintain an intense stare to hide the fear in your soul and fumble around your waist to prepare your gun.

You raise it to your shoulder and put your hand on the trigger. It feels light in your arms. Half tank at most. Will it be enough?

You choke down the rest of your hesitation knowing that this is your last moment and your only chance to protect yourself… to defend your pack… to salvage any degree of pride that you once had before this terrible game began. 

By the time you work up enough confidence, something unexpected happens.

 Attacked from behind. You hadn’t even though to watch the rear! You’re finished. Ice Water.

What is this battle royale, this sardonic hunting game, this death match? I’ll give you a hint… it’s not the Hunger Games. Its Songkran, of course!

Every April, Thailand shuts down and gears up for–the ultimate in youthful fantasies—a nationwide water fight spanning 3 days. Shelves are stocked with themed weapons, some serious enough to put super soakers to shame, all just a fill away from becoming your biggest asset for the next few days.

People of all ages and nationalities congregate into city centers throughout Thailand, and load up buckets, squirt guns, water balloons, coolers, and even water tanks in preparation for the fight. Songkran is wild and indiscriminate fun, as strangers sneak up and blast each other in the ear with sea water. Walk the streets at your own risk as, gun or no gun, you’re a prime target. Sit in a songtaew and literally get hosed by every bypasser.

Leave the iPhone in the hotel, invest in some good artillery, and join in on one the most entertaining endeavors into Thai culture. To read more about Songkran in Thailand, check out Bring Your Dry Bag ‘Cause  You’re Gonna Get Soaked!

If water fights are not your thing, then mid-April in Thailand is not your thing. However, here are a couple other messy festivals you might enjoy around the world!

  • La Tomatina Festival, Spain: Food fights just got specific. An hour long tomato fight erupts in the streets of Buñol, Spain every August.
  • Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea: If mineral rich dirt is good for your skin, obviously a mud slinging battle in the streets of Boryeong, South Korea for 9 days will leave you radiant. Go in July for some really dirty fun.

What’s the craziest festival you’ve heard of? (click here if you can’t see Facebook comments below)

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04 2012

Bring Your Dry Bag ‘Cause You’re Gonna Get Soaked!

Thailand-Songkran-Festival-Water-Fight

Soaked at the Songkran Festival – Photo Credit Flickr Wyndham

 

If you’re anywhere near Thailand this weekend, it’s advised that you leave the Sunday best in the suitcase, and perhaps grab a raincoat instead. That is, if you don’t want to get wet. Not because the forecast calls for rain, but because today marked the beginning of the annual Songkran Festival, a countrywide celebration of the Thai New Year which has evolved into the world’s biggest water fight.

What began as a tradition of sprinkling water on to one’s elders as a sign of respect has turned into a massive, multi-day party of music, dancing, and getting drenched. This weekend, nearly every city street in Thailand plays host to this good ‘clean’ fun as locals and tourists flock to the streets carrying water pistols, buckets, and high-powered Super Soakers to get a piece of the action.

The Water Festival is so massive that the Guinness World Record was just broken in Thailand last year for water pistol fights as 3,477 eager souls gathered together in Bangkok for a very wet 10-minute shootout.

Check out this video of the water fights in the city of Chiang Mai to see a glimpse of what some may call ‘blissful madness’!

Ever seen anything like it? (click here if you can’t see the Facebook comments below)

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04 2012