Songkran is the start of the traditional Thai new year. It also marks the height of the hot season. A good way to cool off is to join in with the many water fights that are just starting in Thailand. Traditionally, you are supposed to splash your elders with a little rose scented water. But, these days people just throw buckets of water at each other. The dates of the festival are 13-15 April 2011. However, be warned, in some areas, kids have already started playing water fights.
At Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan this morning, the students went to school early in order to make merit for the start of the Songkran period. They went there with their parents. They first took part in some chanting and then received a blessing from 25 Buddhist monks. They next offered alms to the monks which consisted of food and other basic essentials. They also poured rose scented water over a Buddha image. This is the traditional way to start Songkran which I will be sharing with you again on 13th April.
Afterwards, the students, who have been attending summer school, took part in some fun and games. This climaxed for them with a giant water fight in the school playground. As you can see from these pictures, everyone had a lot of fun and got very, very wet! Over the last few days I have heard about Thai companies and organizations putting on their own Songkran celebrations. Even Hollywood in the USA joined in with the fun with a Songkran Festival in Thai Town last Sunday.
Like I said, Songkran doesn’t officially start until 13th April. However, you will see some kids and teenagers starting early. I think because Songkran is Wednesday to Friday this year that many people will be taking Monday and Tuesday off work. This means for many people, the Songkran holidays started today and will continue until at least Sunday 17th April 2011. But, that doesn’t mean Songkran is over on that day. Some places in Thailand have a late Songkran so the fun continues until 24th April 2011.
For more information, please visit our Thai Festival Blogs for the section on When and Where to Celebrate Songkran 2011. We have recently launched a new website called Thai Travel Blogs which has all the latest travel news for Thailand. Check the Songkran Blogs out over there including Tips for Enjoying Songkran. I have more pictures from the Songkran fun today at school on my Facebook page. Feel free to add me as a friend.
I’ll be out and about a lot during Songkran taking pictures of the water fights and also the more traditional events. You can follow me on Twitter @RichardBarrow. Happy Songkran!