It was the 13th of April for 4 days. Songkran is Thai New Year and I was lucky to be here this time. In the past I have managed to pass through Thailand a few days before but never had the chance to stay here for it.
Songkran (สงกรานต) is the New Year in the Thai Buddhist Calendar. This Songkran marked the change from the year 2449 to 2550. The Thai solar calendar, Suriyakati (Thai: สุริยคติ) is based around the Buddhist Era and traditionally New Year is that period 13 to 16 April. However, in 1941 the then Thai Prime Minister aligned the Western and Thai New Years so that from 1941 onwards, adding 543 to the Western year will indicate the Thai Year. Prior to 1941, the Thai year number changed each Songkran. Now, the year number changes on 1 January with the western year change, but the Thai’s still celebrate Songkran at the traditional time.
It was terrific. So much celebration, happiness and fun. The greatest part of the day consists of being drenched in water and having powder patted onto your wet face and head, no matter where you go. If you are here for Songkran, just assume that when you go outside over those four days that you will be drenched in water. Leave mobile phones and cameras in your room or wrap them securely in plastic (or put them in a water-proof housing).
I really can say that I had such a fun time over Songkran. There was not an unhappy face I saw anywhere.
I’ll add a picture to this entry later when I get hold of them – it is of yours truly after arriving back in the hotel from the day out at Songkran.