Songkran 2013

13 Apr

* Let it be known that this officially qualifies as my most punctual blog post ever *

This weekend is Songkran, which celebrates the traditional Thai New Year and the return of the rainy season. Back in the day, people celebrated Songkran by going to temple to make merit, ceremoniously sprinkling water on images of Buddha, and sprinkling water on the hands of elders to show respect. Nowadays, all of this still takes place, but after respects have been paid, the water sprinkling morphs into an all-out, giant water gun toting, mud smearing, assault-the-unwary water fight. Since I have tried to enthusiastically throw myself into every new cultural thing I can find, we clearly had to get involved in said water fight.

Songkran is right up my alley because it gives grownups an excuse to act like ten-year-olds. Thais in general are normally quite composed, fashionably dressed, and well-behaved. Not on Songkran! The holiday is clearly an excuse to let one’s hair down. The general fashion trend is floral-patterned Hawaiian shirt, the crazier the better, and/or anything brightly colored or neon. After a frantic search this morning, I found the last Hawaiian shirt on the soi – check out my awesome attire in the photos below! In addition to a snazzy shirt, the perfect Songkran ensemble includes a plastic purse (to keep your valuables dry) and the biggest, baddest water gun money can buy (or you can find on sale in Big C). Optional accessories include clay powder to smear on the faces of passerby, and large buckets of water to throw on passing cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians.

Orestes and I headed into downtown Bangkok with Karli and Wade, two of our pals from RIS, to meet up with Anne, my fellow EYP teacher (and the guru of all Thailand knowledge) and her friend, Jesus. The six of us hit up two different neighborhoods to spray everyone we could find, and see what there was to see. In no particular order, fun things included:

* Getting smeared with clay paste. Funny at first, less so when it ends up in your mouth.

* Everyone was wet!! I have never been so thoroughly drenched, or so happy to have a plastic purse. So. Much. Fun!!

* Wade getting called up on stage by an annoying man with a microphone, who tried to make him dance Gangnam Style and dunked him in a tank of water.

* Angry Birds water gun/backpack. Next year I will be armed with this.

* Dude with a towel around his head, Princess Leia style (not sure why, the towel was neither dry nor clean).

* The ridiculous chaos that was Soi Silom – fun times!!

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One Response to “Songkran 2013”

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  1. Koh Lanta | The Jacksons Take Thailand - April 24, 2014

    […] of the island’s busier beaches (check out my blog post from last year for an explanation of Songkran). Mom wasn’t a huge fan of the Songkran situation, but she sported the requisite floral […]

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