Songkran: experience the world's biggest water fight

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Thailand's craziest festival is coming up. During Songkran (or the Thai Water Festival) people gather together and turn the streets into a watery war zone.

the world's biggest water fight

the world's biggest water fight
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Every year, from April 13 to 15, Thailand fully loses its marbles for the Songkran Festival. Attended by hundreds of foreigners as well as locals, it's a chance to emerse yourself in some seriously joyful Thai culture and leave fully drenched.

Also known as the Thai Water Festival, the Buddhist festival is the country's most important and celebrated public holiday of the year. The name Songkran directly translates to "Astrological Passage", meaning the festival is specifically to mark the traditional Thai New Year. Now the festival has fixed dates and is annually celebrated hugely all over Thailand.

As well as marking the Thai New Year it also marks the end of the dry season. April is Thailand's hottest month and the celebrations are a chance to welcome the start of the rainy season which starts in May, the fifth month of the Thai lunar year.

The festival sweeps the entire country for two days every year. Thais visit their local temples to pray and wash their Buddha icons to bring luck for the incoming New Year. Everyone else heads straight to the main event: the world's largest water fight.

The throwing of water traditionally washes away bad luck, and the festivities have grown in recent years to something of an all out party. You can't turn a corner without being splashed or sprayed and in some places, especially in the north of Thailand in Chiang Mai, Songkran can be celebrated for as long as a week.

People will gather in the streets with water guns and hoses and soak any one in their firing line. Children, adults and even elephants with their trunks full run riot with guns and water-filled containers. You might also see people covering each other in chalk, which was once a custom of Buddhist monks marking their blessings. It is now a chance to get everyone around you soaked and colourful.

One of the best places to experience the fun of Songkran is on Khao San Road. The area is popular with backpackers, and Songkran usually sees an all-out water fight between foreigners and locals. It would be nearly impossible to leave your hotel around there without joining in the chaos and fun - whether you like it or not!

Despite being a Buddhist festival, Songkran is a chance for people of all walks of life to come together and enjoy themselves, play with water, dance and wash away any negative feelings.

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Bella Eadie
Posted on 07/04/2017 13 shares
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