- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
Join in the Songkran festival, Pattaya, Thailand
In science, water is considered the universal solvent as it is used to extend life. However, for people in Pattaya Thailand, water symbolizes “cleansing and refreshing”. As part of their Pattaya Songkran Festival, natives throw water to one another as sign of forgetting the bad things that happened in the past and welcoming the upcoming year.
Songkran Festival in Thailand is the Thai New Year Festival. There are 3 days for the official holidays of this festival – 13th to 15th April in many different districts throughout Thailand. However, in Pattaya City celebrates Songkran on the 19th of April. There are extended days of the Pattaya Songkran festival, called “Wan Lai” in many provinces in Thailand.
In spite the fun it brings especially to travelers, this event is actually a ritual to ask for rain since rice crops are the main sources of living in the place. However as part of the ritual, people also engage in several things which they believe are a way to receive good luck for the remaining months of the year. These include cleaning their houses, bathing Buddha images, conducting family reunions, giving alms to monks and offering prayer. Using fragrant water, young individuals give respect to elders by pouring it into their hands.
As the month of April arrives, natives are starting to get busy in preparation for Pattaya Songkran Festival. And on the 19th day, everyone is ready for a big splashing event that is about to happen. While the hot weather reigns in the whole place, people including children, natives and foreigners find relief by throwing water to each other using water cannons and containers. There is no place for violent reactions when getting soaked as everyone is enjoying the celebration. In case you are planning to arrive in the place during the festival, better get ready with your water equipment just to defend yourself.
Aside from the traditional water fight, Pattaya Songkran Festival has lots more to reveal. Being a guest in Thailand, one can also enjoy the showcase of beauty and talents in their popular Miss Songkran beauty pageant. Most cities are conducting the same event, however here in Pattaya, even ladyboys can join the contest. Like petty ladies out there, they will dress their best and ramp in front of the audience.
There are also cultural shows after the parade, which showcase authentic crafts and Thailand’s rich culture. For those who are fond of eating, the doors of restaurants are always open to serve. Thai dishes are actually a combination of exotic goodies, fresh ingredients and authentic flavors, which are great for everybody’s appetite.
Songkran Festival is actually a call of discovering things around not just in Pattaya, but in other parts of the country. Come and discover scenic attractions, finest dishes and one of a kind Thai culture. Also, prepare yourself to get wet with this longest water fight event in the history.