Excuse me… Songkran

Excuse me… Songkran

Posted on 13. Apr, 2010 by in Thailand

This morning while walking back from the store, I was approached by a teenager.
Excuse me… Songkran…”
He said apologetically while pouring ice water all down the front of my shirt. Thus began our Songkran – the Thai New Year as well as the biggest and best loved holiday in Thailand.

Songkran is a three day festival, April 13-15.  For Thais, Songkran is kinda like Christmas- most people go home to be with family, everyone is friendly with each other and spreading good will, and kids look forward to it all year.

Prior to this week we’ve been repeatedly warned about the inevitability of getting wet during these three days.  We’ve also been warned that foreigners are especially a target for being soaked.  I guess that’s what made the guy this morning so amusing.  Instead of throwing it in my face and running away, he just poured some on me while apologetically explaining why.

Photo by

While I was out, I also ran across friends from the center.  They insisted that we come out to “play water” with them.  So April and I joined them for a couple hours.  We stood at the corner of the busy road, waited for potential victims, and through cups and buckets of water on them.  Straight from the hose the water is quite warm.  To remedy that, people buy large blocks of ice to add to their buckets, making the water FREEZING.  The most fun was when a truckload of people would pull up, stop to throw water on us, and we’d throw water back.  There were also people on motorbikes (often with their kids) who would stop in front of us just so we could dump water on them.  There were even bus drivers who would pull their buses in front of us, and leave the doors open so we could get the passengers wet!

Nobody gets angry about getting wet, either.  It’s just part of the spirit of Songkran (plus, it’s 100+ degrees outside).  It really does remind us of how people are around Christmastime in the States.  There’s a spirit of people celebrating together and helping each other out.  After some kids ran over to attack us with their water guns, we let them fill up again before they biked off.

So you can see why kids love this day.  They get to have a water fight with everyone without getting in trouble!

And just to wrap up my first story…  After the teen poured some of his bowl on me, he looked away, so I pushed his bowl so he’d get wet.  He looked horrified that I’d done that, but his friends all laughed 😀

Happy Songkran!

And since we didn’t want to risk the camera in the crazyness…  Top picture by: Takeaway, Small picture by: Wyndham

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5 Responses to “Excuse me… Songkran”

  1. Jeremy

    13. Apr, 2010

    if anyone did this in america they would get sued terribly

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sara

    13. Apr, 2010

    Woohoo for Songkran! :)

    Reply to this comment
  3. sTim

    13. Apr, 2010

    Am I the only one who thinks a holiday like this might secretly be part of the reason Jason picked to go to Thailand? I can’t think of one that sounds more Ruggles-like!

    Reply to this comment

    14. Apr, 2010

    Bring Songkran to America. Sounds like fun

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jason

    16. Apr, 2010

    @Jeremy- Yeah, Thailand would have a complete economic collapse if it was as litigious as the USA.

    @sTim- Awesome holiday for pranksters… and it’s a bonus that it’s in April Fool Month, too!

    Reply to this comment

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