Do you remember your childhood summers? They were hot, sticky, and often wet. The call of adventure was always right at your doorstep, begging you to come out and play. Your afternoons were spent eating popsicles, running around with the other neighborhood kids and not going to school.
Amphawa Floating Market
I know – it’s been a while since your last summer adventure. Now you come home to television and microwavable dinners. Summers have also become routine – like any other season, expect your white shirt becomes magically see-through when you sweat. Oh, how you crave to be young again – to have an adventure like no other.
Maybe it’s time for a good ol’ fashioned water fight. Your weapon of choice? The garden hose.
If you’re looking for a fun event to relive your childhood, the Songkran Water Festival, is your answer. Celebrated across Thailand as a national holiday, the annual festival is the largest water fight in the world, taking place on April 13th-15th, every year. Kids, adults and tourists from around the world are invited to participate in this countrywide affair, which heralds the New Year.
Originally, Songkran was a time reserved for visiting family and for cleaning away the old in order to make way for the new. Many people, as a result, would literally clean their homes and wash their clothes to prepare for the New Year. Another common tradition was to pour water over the shoulders of family members for good luck. Over time, however, the tradition began to evolve – as you can only imagine when you go around splashing people with water.
After all, heat does make you do crazy things.
Today, the tradition has become a huge international tourist attraction. The national water fight is wildly popular in well-known Thai cities like Phuket and Chang Mai, but the event also occurs in other South Asian countries. Participants must grab water guns, buckets, hoses – whatever they can get their hands on – and douse people with cool, refreshing water. Expect a proper New Years celebration, however, as the event will also be accompanied by live performances and street food.
…although technically, I really wouldn’t suggest eating during a time of war.