Let’s talk about Songkran. It’s a pretty hot topic right now given that it has officially arrived! If you’ve never been to Thailand and don’t know what it is, I’d suggest you google it now.
When it comes to the Thai New Year, I think it’s pretty awesome. In fact, it just might be my favorite holiday. Therefore, I find it very surprising when I come across people who aren’t feeling the Songkran love.
If you’re one of those people, I hope this post changes your mind. If not, at least my Songkran essentials will allow you to survive the upcoming week in some form of comfort (and style, obviously).
The way I see it is that this holiday is special because it literally includes everyone. Songkran goes way beyond the reaches of the teenage boys who see it as a nationwide wet t-shirt contest. In reality, it’s a gathering of people from all backgrounds, incomes, ages, interests or however else you want to look at it.
I’m not going to attempt to explain the historical traditions involved with the holiday, I know I will end up getting it wrong. But in my simple terms, Songkran is a time in which people can connect with an endless array of strangers in one of the most entertaining ways possible – throwing water in their faces!
As a 22 year old self absorbed wannabe princess, I don’t often associate with people outside my own little bubble. But during the week of Songkran, I forget all about who I am and what I’m “supposed” to be doing.
During those few days in April, I share magical moments laughing my head off with groups of children as we get in big time water wars. Keep in mind, I can’t remember the last time I hung out with a kid, let alone enjoyed it.
I get to exchange kind smiles with the elderly as we wipe cooling powder across each others foreheads. I don’t even know these people, but the warmth of the moment makes me miss my grandparents more than ever.
The entire firefighting force is on duty; not to prevent fires but simply to pummel everyone with the most bossy hoses ever. They win every fight hands down. I have even aimed water at a police officer, but only because he did it first.
I could honestly go on for ages explaining the fun encounters that happen during Songkran and I’m sure you all have similar stories to tell. Just keep these thoughts in mind as you venture out this year with your beyond cool new Hello Kitty water gear.
If things start getting a little too intense or a stranger grabs your bum, just shrug it off and keep on throwing water. Go find the last person in the world you would normally talk to, walk right up to them and dump a bucket of water on their head. After all, during Songkran, everyone is your friend.
We all know a country wide water fight lasting several days can become tedious. Here are some measures you can take to make it just a little more comfortable.
1. Eye Protection: As much as we don’t enjoy it when it happens to us, we all love to aim water at peoples faces. If you wear contacts, you may want to invest in full on swimming goggles.
2. Snapback: If you need to get somewhere fast, you can angle it downwards to divert water off your face. It also doubles as sun protection.
3. Waterproof Bag: Because we all need to keep our dollar bills dry. Oh, and our iPhones. If you want to take pictures, get a clear bag, do not remove your phone.
4. Sandals: I’d suggest ones that strap to your feet. Flip flops are just a little too floppy when you’re getting down and dirty in a serious water battle.
5. NON white clothing: Pubescent boys are already excited enough that all the girls have wet shirts on. Please don’t emphasize the matter.
6. Water weapons, duh: Just go for the most intense piece of machinery you can find.