"The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this "blessed" water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder. Among young people the holiday evolved to include dousing strangers with water to relieve the heat, since April is the hottest month in Thailand (temperatures can rise to over 100 °F or 40 °C on some days). This has further evolved into water fights and splashing water over people riding in vehicles.
Although many people are focused on dousing each other with water, there is another way of marking someone and blessing them, by putting powder on their face.
Songkran is traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks.
Thais often travel back to where they grew up for family reunions and especially to visit and pay respect to their elderly. A visit to the temple is always important to ensure the upcoming year is blessed and bountiful." (Wikipedia)
This year’s Songkran found Corey and I in Phuket. Corey had been lucky enough to experience Songkran once before but it was my first. Hopefully it will not be my last. We packed a supposedly-waterproof bag, dressed in clothes that we hoped may dry at some point, and jumped on our scooter. I have to mention here that we both were wearing flowery shirts as this is another symbol of Songkran.
As we rode carefully into Patong from Kathu, armed with super soaker water guns, Corey kept a steady hand and navigated past a few “wet” spots. Families and neighbors, including kids come down to where their side street meets a main road and set up soaking stations. Many put ice in their water. The first ice water splash definitely got my attention! On the way to town we stopped by our last apartment. The kids we had befriended were standing on the side of the road, they recognized Corey and started yelling "Mac, Mac!" They truly enjoyed soaking us as we feebly attempted to give them a bit of a watering down.
The town of Patong is a crazy frenetic place at the best of times, at Songkran it is absolutely nuts. We again carefully made our way past multiple soaking stations to the WE Hotel, our hangout for the night. The WE is on Bangla Road, but the calmer section. It was a perfect place to play from, and use as our home base. We had a rooftop pool and our rooms looked out over Bangla Road. We were only on the second floor so we sprayed people from our window.
After getting settled at the WE, we took our first stroll up Bangla towards the beach. Throughout the day it just got crazier. You can see the pics, which although fun, don’t really do it justice! You really have to experience Songkran at least once yourself.
After we wore ourselves out playing in the waterfight in front of the WE and cruising Bangla, we made our way to the clubs, ending up at the TaiPan. Since we were also celebrating Mon’s birthday, we had champagne and not sure what else. Long story short, I ended up being invited up on stage with the performers. Luckily there are NO pictures of this…
Enjoy the photos. This is one festival that has to be experiences in person. Preferably on Bangla Road!