Songkran in Thailand is traditionally about washing away your sins and bad luck from the previous year and getting ready to renew yourself for the year ahead. Many Thai’s will go back to their family homes and eat, drink and play games with their elders. There are a number of rituals that will take place like washing each other and visiting temples.
For younger people and tourists, Songkran is about having fun by throwing water and flour or powder over each other. There are a number of celebrations throughout the country with Bangkok leading the way with the most organized events and celebrations. If you are traveling through this year, then it’s a must see and participate event but you must also remember to stay safe, here are a few tips.
1. Make sure the water isn’t hot or salty – Some will try to spray you with salty water or unclean water, be careful of this especially in some of the smaller streets around the capital or provinces.
2. Avoid wet powder if you can – It is part of the tradition to smear powder on your face but this could be anything and within a few days can give you a very nasty rash, it’s best to avoid contact with anyone trying to smear you with powder.
3. Remember the culture – Don’t walk down the road of the capital with no shirt on or just a bikini, there are still laws about dressing appropriately in Thailand. Make sure you are not too revealing, it can get very hot but you are also a visitor in another country and you must observe their laws.
4. Put all your valuables in a plastic bag – No matter how much you try to avoid the water in the capital, you are almost certain to end up drenched through. Make sure you are carrying your phone, your watch, your camera, your wallet in a plastic zipped bag. These can be bought locally so don’t worry but it’s a must have if you want to enjoy the festivities.
5. Beware of pickpockets – Although this is sound advice when traveling anywhere and at any time of the year, unfortunately, festivals bring about the worst in people and when you are getting caught up in the atmosphere it’s easy to forget about your valuables and you can be sure there will be someone ready to relieve you of them if you are not careful.
Having said all that, Songkran is a great festival and one to be enjoyed, so please have fun!