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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Songkran Daze in Chiang Mai

Happy Songkran Everyone

It has begun. The biggest water fight in the world and we are in the center of it here in Chiang Mai, the capital of Songkran. It’s a wild festival and really needs to be seen to be believed. Massive water fights break out all across the country and it makes you feel like a kid again.

It is the Thai New Year. It’s a time for cleansing and a time for renewal. The water washes away all the bad so you can start the year fresh, clean from all that is wrong in the world. 
It’s a happy time of the year where complete strangers can dump water over each others heads and smile about it. It’s an amazing experience and the rest of the world could learn a lot from it. It’s not uncommon for people to throw water at the Police and the Police take it with a smile.  

It’s a Buddhist festival. People bring sand to the temples  in order to replace the dirt that they have carried out with feet  in the past year.The sand is shaped into little stupas— miniature sand-sculptures  which  you can view at temples during  the Songkran festival. Buddha statues are paraded through the streets in order for people to pour water over them, respectfully
 “bathing” the holy images. 

Throughout the festival, a strong emphasis is placed on renewing traditional family values by showing respect and deference to elders. This is where the practice of throwing water comes from; it began by pouring scented water on the hands of elders to show respect and ask for blessings for the new year. 

For the next 5 or 6 days Thailand will stop to play, to wash away their troubles and worries. In Chiang Mai traffic will not move, trucks will be decked out with colorful powders and paint, giant tubs and trash cans will be filled with water and blocks of ice, if you go out you will get wet. People will play like children, they will laugh and dance, there will be parades, concerts and respectful temple ceremonies, food, family, friends and Thailand will smile. 

Amy and her crew are ready to go.

Did I mention the average daily temperature right now is 107/42

Happy New Year everyone. Sawadee Bee Mai.