Coming to Phuket during April? Then you’re in for a big surprise if you’re here from April 13 – 15. This is the time of the Thai celebration of New Year, Songkran – an event that marks the beginning of the solar calendar (it translates as ‘the passing of’). For some, it’s a period of reflection and carrying out of familial shows of respect to elders. But for others (in fact for most people) it’s a perfect excuse to get merry, hit the streets and throw tons of water around at anything that moves out there.
Traditionally speaking, Songkran tradition was the time of year when the rice harvest was in and farmers had to wait for the rains to begin in order to plant their rice. This would be the driest point of each year so it would seem sort of illogical to waste water by pouring it over elders’ hands but amazingly, gradually over the years Songkran has developed into an orgy of water throwing using buckets and water guns.
Songkran starts off innocuously enough but by midday on April 13 streets are lined with pickup trucks with their beds loaded with ice-cold water and ‘water warriors’ strafing and splashing passersby who line the side of the road shooting back. As you can imagine it’s a fairly chaotic scene, all the more so because the very agents of Law and Order – the police – are the number one targets for many revellers. Nowadays people have taken to adding talcum powder to their watery ammunition; icy water is also an added delight although the police take a dim view of ice cubes.
Content retrieved from: http://www.phuket.com/festival/songkran.htm.