Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Song Kran Water Festival 2014

Songkran water festival
Phuket Songkran Festival
Songkran in Phuket is one of the most exciting times of the year, and is enjoyed by the entire country as it celebrates the Thai New Year. The year on the Thai calendar will be 2557. Here in Phuket the celebrations will begin on the 13th of April and end on the 15th April.

Songkran festival is a time when Thai people take time out from their busy schedules and taking time off work and school to celebrate, visit relations, go to their local temples and offer merits and give arms to monks. Also the young show their respect to their elders, by pouring scented water onto their hands and saying prayers for them.

Songkran is believed to have been taken and adapted from the Sankranti hindu festival. Although the Thai calendar, much like many calendars of Asia uses a luni-solar calendar where the date is calculated on a solar basis, the actual word Songkran is derived from the Sanskit (Sankranta) which actually means “move or change” like at this time of year when the sun moves between Aries and Pisces.

Traditionally celebrated as the Thai New Year for hundreds of Years, Songkran is welcomed up and down the entire country. Reaching as far north as the Cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to way down in the South of the country like Phuket, Krabi, Satun and Hat Yai.

The New Year festival has really taken off in the tourist areas too. As the holiday makers,
Songkran Water Fetsival patong
Songkran Water Fetsival Phuket
Songkran Water Festival Phuket backpackers and Expats enjoy this most spectacular time of year, and enjoy reveling in different cultural celebrations. The Songkran Water festival is a must see for all those who come to Thailand, for this is one time of year that the whole country stops and parties.

If you are lucky enough to be in Thailand during the festival then Phuket is a great place to celebrate. The festival will usually start when the children wake up with gentle water throwing in the small towns and villages of Phuket; it is a great time for the children to enjoy. As the day progress and the adults start to stir, this is when its gets a little more technical.

There are no real staged water fights per say, but you can find mass brawls all over the island. Patong is a real opener, and if you happen to find yourself in Patong then make sure you have a decent weapon (water pistol), available from most small shopping outlets, supermarkets and such like.

On Soi Bangla (main walking street in Patong) there will be a cross fire as people drink merrily
Songkran Water Festival Phuket
Songkran Water Festival
and run from bar to bar soaking each other wet through. It is a great party atmosphere and even the police and fire brigade join in the hilarity. It is, if you have never seen it, a fantastic time to be in Phuket.

Even minding your own business and just walking down the street you are not safe from a drenching. There are situated on every street corner firing squads, all ready to take any dry passerby out. Be wary here because these guys have been known to buy huge chunks of ice and the water is so cold, that you will get a sudden icy cold watery shock.

Be very careful driving a motorbike during the festival water will be thrown at you.

  • Buy a dry bag from any dive shop to protect your valuables: phone, camera etc…

  • Waterproof cameras are available at dive shops

  • Do not wear jewelry or any expensive clothing it will get destroyed

  • It’s all good humored fun! Don’t fight it go with it!

  • And above all have fun and please take care.

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