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“Thais get extra pleasure out of drenching foreigners so if you're white you're a walking target,” Zeiler added.“Be prepared to get soaked.” Look beyond the carousing and there is a rich history behind all the fun.
And while water will be flung in all corners of the region this weekend, Thailand will be the wettest of them all. “It’s meant to represent the sins of the past year, which are then washed away by the water,” Zeiler explained.
In the Thai capital, what was originally a religious holiday during which people went to temples to wash monks has “evolved into what it is now, which is pretty much a city-wide water fight fueled by an endless supply of Thai whiskey,” Joe Zeiler, an international high school teacher in Bangkok and Songkran veteran, told . In the weeks leading up to Songkran, shops stock up on obligatory “Songkran shirts” (basically, Hawaiian floral print shirts) and water pistols of every shape and size: double barrel, multiple water tanks; some even come with water storage backpacks attached to cut down on time spent reloading.
Many travelers have enjoyed the Thai Water Festival aspect, but few have experienced the traditional beauty of Thai New Year.
Crazy or calm, your Songkran Day can go either way depending on where you go.
Another major hazard at Songkran is getting sick from the water.
Zeiler knows these dangers all too well: “It is impossible to avoid getting it in your ears, eyes and mouth, and a lot of the water comes out of polluted and sewage filled canals,” he said.All thanks to the world’s biggest water fight that’s covered in every single Songkran guide.While many travelers know that Songkran Day is also the traditional Thai New Year, water fight has become synonymous with the festival.“In Laos, they celebrate Songkran in a better manner than Thais, concentrating on the traditional meaning, which is to celebrate the New Year and pay respects to elderly family members.Water used in the ceremony will be mixed with flowers and tradition perfume.” In response to last year’s event, which was particularly wild, Bangkok is trying to rein it in a bit this year.In Thailand, it begins on April 13; in Cambodia, April 12.The word itself is derived from the Sanskrit word , indicating the holiday’s Indian roots.This ultimate guide to Songkran Festival is split into two editions to cover both sides of the festival, including some local tips.Songkran 2019 Dates: Saturday April 13 to Monday, April 15 With the temperature rising as high as 40 °C, April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand.Songkran Festival, Songkran Day, Thai Water Festival or Songkran, Thailand’s signature festival has many names.Celebrated from April 13 to 15, Songkran Festival is a special time when Thai summer turns cool and fighting becomes a friendly act...