Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thai Water Festival - Songkran 2012

All smiles and laughter on the streets the morning of the Water Festival 2012 in Bangkok.

Scooter rollin' by.

By chance, we were in Bangkok April 13th, 2012 and caught their Thai New Year - Songkran celebration.  We were warned that we should wear our full-body raincoats on the streets starting first thing in the morning, but we weren't certain what exactly that meant.  After a few days battling the heat, I couldn't imagine anyone zipping up in a long sleeve, non-breathable jacket.

The moment the first bucket of   i-c-e   c-o-l-d  water hit me, I knew what they meant.  Still, it felt refreshing, cooling me down instantly from the steamy sidewalks.  The garden hoses were out, along with water balloons, beach buckets, kitchen bowls to help the happy, relaxed people on a Friday off from work, drench each other.

I can't imagine anyone not looking forward to this day every year, with an exception to the taxi car owners that have to clean the powder and paint from the car when it is all over.  Everyone on the street was laughing, carrying a watergun and ready to get wet.

The kids line up on the side of the road to prepare for the next victim to cruise by on their scooter or by tuk-tuk. Then. fire. Some are prepared and aim back, but all smile and keep cruising along.

These kids loved waiting for the scooters to roll by.

Traditionally, the Thai New Year was the beginning of the year in Thailand.  Which followed the lunar calendar; thereafter April 1st was used until 1940. January 1st is now the beginning of the year. The traditional Thai New Year has been a national holiday since. (Wikipedia).

Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks.  It is now celebrated as the Water Festival.  We were told that before you go out and celebrate with the water, you are to visit the Temple to pray and give food to monks.

Ice cold pails of water for refilling.

9:30 A.M.


Guy on the bike rode right through the hose spray and buckets of ice cold water without even flinching.

The aftermath - soaking wet with powder and painted faces dripping down our bodies.

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