Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Songkran soaked

Songkran is the Thai new year characterized mainly by people celebrating it with water. According to Wikipedia, songkran is a term derived from Sanskrit, and may refer to new year celebrations in or parts of southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Lao, Thingyan in Myanmar, Yunnan in China and northern Vietnam.

Fifteen years in the kingdom and this recently concluded Songkran on April 13-15 was only my second time participating and really having fun - in Huahin, Thailand's summer capital last year and in Silom, the country's financial district this year.

This is the Songkran 'make-up,' or that's how I call fragrant talcum powder mixed in water and rubbed gently on people's cheeks -

Originally, water in bowls is poured on the wrists only. People exchange good wishes and go their way -

Nowadays a huge fire hose spews water on revelers. In some instances it's not even water in the dippers, but whiskey.  Silom is closed to traffic. No one in this formidable crowd is dry. Not the cops, not the food or booze vendors, not even the journalists covering this event. In one corner people danced to Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive -

Songkran ammo - the red and blue water gun behind the ever present somtam (papaya salad), fried chicken and sticky rice in every Thai celebration -  

The Thai government provides mats for people having their Songkran dinner in parks. A nephew and a niece who flew in from Cebu in time for the frolic would have made perfect mat models but discretion had better be the order of the day if their aunt do not want to get murdered this early in her blogging past time.

Our World  ABC Wednesday


  1. I recently retired from my job teaching at an international high school, and learned about this celebration from one of my Thai students. Now I see that he didn't exaggerate! It was great to see these pictures and learn some more details about Songkran.

  2. Wonderful shots of unique celebrations.

  3. An interesting celebration. The government providing mats is so unlike the US. It appears you had a wonderful time.

  4. Sounds like fun fun fun!

    abcw team

  5. I'm guessing being splashed with water during this festivity is welcomed not only for the reasons you provided but also to cool off. I'd love to see Thailand some day.

  6. Happy New Year! belated...

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  7. Great word and fascinating post. I enjoyed the shots and narrative. Carver, ABC-Wed. Team

  8. LOL i'd love to see the mat models! but if it poses a danger to you, ok, i'll settle with these photos.:p

    i like the talc mixed with water--much better than the charcoal we have during ati-atihan. this festival sounds like the Feast of St. John the Baptist every June 24th.:p

  9. Is that like the "San Juan" festival or holiday in the Philippines?

    S is for..
    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team



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