Sunday, April 14, 2013

The World's Biggest Waterfight

I have literally been soaking wet for the last five days. Why you ask? I've been celebrating Thai New Year, AKA 'Songkran', which is hands down the coolest festival I've ever seen.

Songkran falls every April from the 13-15. While there are several more traditional aspects of the festival such as going wats (temples) to pray and offering food to the monks, the most popular custom of Songkran is the throwing of water, which symbolizes cleansing and renewal for the new year. Over time, this has evolved into a massive water fight - Songkran has actually earned the title of the biggest water fight in the world!

The most famous Songkran celebrations take place in Chiang Mai, which is where I was, and it was nothing short of insane. We're talking everybody and their dog (literally) out on the streets, armed with a water gun, bucket and/or hose, trying to get everybody else as drenched as they can. Throw in blaring music, foam, free food and a parade, and you'll start to get an idea of how Songkran looks.

For obvious reasons, unless you have some fancy waterproof camera gear this festival is pretty hard to capture - people take absolutely no mercy on you if you're holding electronics! I managed to get a few shots of the festivities...

Celebrating Songkran in Chiang Mai was just incredible. Like so many other things I've done on this trip, I feel like words and photos can't do it justice - the energy of everyone there, locals and foreigners alike, is what made it so great.

I'm in Bangkok now and have one more day of Songkran to face. Although this festival has been amazing, I have to admit - I'm kind of excited to be dry again!

Sawadee pee mai ka! / Happy New Year!

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