In case you’re unfamiliar with THE BEST HOLIDAY EVER, let me fill you in. Every April, Thailand basically shuts down for three days (in some less urban areas, it’s only celebrated for one day, but the cities go hard for three whole days.) This beautiful holiday, Songkran, celebrates the Thai new year. Coincidentally, this occurs in mid-April during the height of the hot season. This is key because the holiday is essentially the world’s biggest water fight. When temperatures are soaring right around 100 for days on end, and when your apartment lacks a/c, any way to cool off is a welcome change. Especially one that involves water guns.
I’m lucky that my four months here in Chiang Mai coincided with Songkran. Last weekend, I spent three days throwing water on friends, neighbors, strangers, police men, little kids, and little old ladies. It was the best thing ever. Home base was a Thai friend’s house, right in the heart of a busy little neighborhood. We ventured out to the main roads and down around the moat, but the highlight of the weekend for me was seeing how Thai people celebrated just as much as falang. We went down to Thae Pae gate, basically backpacker central, to see the festivities, which were NUTS. There was a foam machine (a la HMC), multiple dance stages, six inches worth of water flooding the streets, and countless people dancing amid the chaos. It was a sight to see, but personally I preferred the time at the house where fresh cooked french fries and endless buckets of water were available. We had quite the battle going with the Thai family who owns the restaurant across the street. Unfortunately, they were more consistent than we were with the purchase of ice blocks to chill their water… Brr.
Anyways, I must say… Songkran is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Young, old, Thai, falang… everyone celebrates together and it is a BLAST! I mean, when else is it socially acceptable to shoot a police officer in the head with a water gun?? Come onnnn.
I’ll leave you with a few favorite photos, courtesy of Katherine’s waterproof camera…
Needless to say, it was a little hard to get back into the swing of work after a 3.5 day celebration like this. After a day of recovery, we’ve managed to have a pretty productive week with a lot of good things on the horizon for ATMA SEVA. We’ll be heading back to the Lawa Village this weekend to pick up a volunteer who has been teaching there for the past few weeks, and then next week we head off to another district for a three day English camp! I can’t believe I only have five weeks left… man time flies.
Until next time,