Last year I hardly realized it (by my own fault) but this year I´ve been hit by the allmighty fear of the water-wars around the Sonkran Festival, which is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13th to 15th of April.
But to start from the beginning: At this utmost important holiday in the Thai year, people often travel to their homes and families to come together and celebrate – similar to Christmas for westerners. This is the peaceful family part…
…the other part is an excessive party and water fight.
The whole holiday today is more concentrated on fun and water-throwing rather than on the festival’s spiritual aspects. The throwing of water was originally a way to pay respect to people and a ritual for cleansing and blessing others by gently pouring the water on the shoulder. However among young people this has evolved into full on “water wars” and splashing excessively water over people.
Foreigners (Farangs) are prone to be highly targeted by the water splashing. So be aware if you are carrying any delicate equipment (camera etc.). And in certain areas, well known to tourist, like Kao San Rd. or Silom, the whole “crazy” is full on.
This has further evolved into water fights and splashing water over people riding in vehicles. Funny especially if they ride in a Tuk Tuk or on a Pick-Up but also dangerous as the accident tolls from last years show .
As I was told, people in Chiang Mai are the most crazy “partying animals” in Thailand during Sonkran.