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Songkran Madness!

THAILAND | Saturday, 21 April 2007 | Views [2083]

Wet and muddy, the madness of Songkran

Wet and muddy, the madness of Songkran

Songkran - Thai New Year. Every April, throw water on all moving things, rub mud on people's faces.

We have been lucky enough to experience this festival several times.

Khao Lak - April 13. The whole water throwing beside the beach party.

Bangkok - April 15. The festival keeps going in the capital and we are talking MADNESS. We arrived at 6am at Ko San Road and there were still people up, and one unfortunate girl was spewing in the gutter. We saw why when we ventured out on the streets at lunchtime (after our 4 hour sleep in an actual BED! Bliss!) There were THOUSANDS of people crammed into the streets. We were soaked, covered in sweet smelling mud, pink mud, baby powder and yellow mud. There was music, dancing, water pistols and beer for miles. And all the Thai people were so happy and polite, saying hello before pouring water all over you, tipping ice down your back, saying "Sorry" before they gently rubbed the mud on our cheeks (noses, sunglasses, forehead, insert any body part here). If this festival was anywhere else (Holi in India comes to mind!) there would be fights and it would feel dangerous to be out. But we felt really safe. Just surrounded by happy people on holiday.

Kanchanaburi - 16 April. As we moved north, so did the festival! So we knew what to expect. Roll on more water, music and mud. This time we were sitting ducks though as we were doing a rickshaw tour on the streets (nice planning). It took us an hour to get about 50 metres down the road. Thats how much water and mud we were blessed with. We will have a very lucky year apparently :)

Mei Nong River - 17 April. And so it continued on a Rice Barge on the river. This time though, we got to see how the festival started. We went to a temple and spent time with some old people. We danced round in a circle to groovy drums and singing, which stopped periodically for some yodelling/yee hawing. We shared big mugs of beer. We put perfume in our buckets of smooth white mud and gently rubbed it on their faces, saying sorry because we were touching them. We put jasmine flowers and perfumed oil in little buckets of water and poured it on their shoulders. Then we all lined up to pour water in the hands of a long line of monks, who blessed us, threw holy water over the crowd, then prayed for everyone to be lucky in the new year. When the monks were safely back inside, the waterfight began in earnest.

So we're both pretty good with buckets of water after all this practise.

Happy Songkran!

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