Monday, April 12, 2010
These are pictures from last year's festival. For more information go to
Songkraan is the name of the holiday. What, you have never heard of it? Well do a google image search for "สงกรานต์"
Thailand's most celebrated festival is the Songkran Festival. It starts April 13 and lasts between 3 and 10 days, depending on where you are in Thailand. The word Songkran is from the Sanskrit meaning the beginning of a new Solar Year, but nowadays Thailand celebrates the New Year on 31 December.
Well, this is the holiday that everyone waits for all year long.(even missionaries, of course) This is the holiday where literally everyone is off work for a week.(except for missionaries, of course) Everyone packs up their bags and heads back to their home city.(except for missionaries, of course)
The holiday lasts three days. In the morning they all go to the temple to give thanks to their ancestors. They also ask for blessings from their living parents as well. Then once the sun starts to get up into the sky, things get crazy. Everyone is out in the streets throwing water at each other. Thousands of people with squirt-guns, garbage cans, or pales of water. They also enjoy putting ice in the water too. As you may have guessed, two white people biking down the street in shirts and ties are more than prime targets.
It is not just water though, they also use flour. Just walking down the street for less than 1 minute you will be soaked from head-to-toe with ice-water and then covered with flour. It is quite fun.
Things also get more interesting because groups of people will hop in the back of a pick-up truck and go around soaking people from the back of their car.
Although it is fun, you can only imagine how much it slows the work down! First of all, all of our investigators have returned to their home city. Second of all, everyone is drunk all week long. Third of all, we can't go anywhere without getting covered in flour. Fourth of all, anyone we meet/talk to here is probably from another city and will return after the week is over.
All in all, it should be a fun week. Be awaiting some more pictures next week!
Tjock dee pii mai! (Thai for Happy New Year).