Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Chiang Mai: April 13; Songkran!

The Songkran Festival is Thailand's Lunar New Year and it's all about WATER!!!! It is the Year 1378 according to the Buddhist Lunar Calendar. I decided to go to the heart of the Festival; Chiang Mai; to see what this holiday is really all about. I was told that Chiang Mai is different in the way it celebrates the Water Festival because it is the only place where both young and old participate equally.

This date represents the symbolic hottest day of the year and it doesn't come too far from it in real life. It was 37 degrees celcius as far as I know and it felt a lot hotter than that to me.

This little guy had such a deadly aim!

Remember the sweet innocent woman who gave me such great foot massages in Chiang Mai when I was last here.

I went back to her today; shucking and jiving to try to avoid the crazies with buckets and squirt guns who brought this city under siege. I went all this way so that I could bring some sanity to my day with a calming massage from my friend 'Roon' who did such a good job the last time I was here. But when I arrived, there was Roon, bucket in hand; crazier than all the rest combined! She has become a raving maniac; dousing people with water as they pass on the street.

One of the communities had their own parade but as they walked along, they were soaked again and again.

And this is the one time of the year when the transvestites can come out on the street and strut their stuff; and boy did they!

Many Thais asked me why the Farangs seemed to get into it so much. I said we do this all the time in Canada, only it's freezing cold and we call it a snowball fight.

On the way to Chiang Mai, I rode on the bus to Suri Thani with Rachael, Nick and Katie who were also heading for the celebration. Katie is an English teacher working in Khon Kaen and her two friends are visiting from London England. They were polite and sensible and quiet...

It only took one word to change all that...SONGKRAN...

No comments: