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Ducking Off The Streets During Song Kran

Aug 18, 2007
Not all Thai people celebrate Song Kran at the same time. It is decided by the area in which you live what day or week you carry out the celebration. The difference between Western New Year and Song Kran, aside from asking for rain, is how Thai people celebrate and how long the celebration lasts.

Song Kran is all about water. Thai people don't care if you do or don't want to participate in the festivities - they just get you wet. It will happen that when you're driving, walking, riding a bike, or sitting in the back of a Tuk Tuk people will get you wet in any way they can.

Thai's will use hoses attached to fire hydrants or water sources from buildings, buckets of cold water, water bottles of all sizes and description and water from the local canals to soak cars and people walking the streets. It is also very common to be involved in a drive-by-soaking carried out by people in the back of pickup trucks with buckets of water.

Though it's a great time to join in and cool off from the midday heat, it's not a safe time for foreign travellers to be out. Some Thai people can be very cruel to foreigners and put prickly heat into the water, food colouring meant to stain clothes and anything else to make your skin itch and burn. Although this is mainly aimed at foreigners, some locals get a taste of the unwanted substances as a malicious joke.

Along with the joys and worries of the super soaking comes the baby powder. Thai people of all ages love to cover their faces in baby powder to keep them from sweating and overheating.

This is understandable because of the extreme heat, over 40 degrees celsius, experienced every day. As you have water either poured on you or thrown at you, someone will also apply a little baby powder to your cheeks and the top of your head as a blessing. It's actually kind of nice but be careful when it gets wet and it drips into your eyes.

All in all the idea of the approaching rainy season seems daunting because the winds and rains of a tropical storm, at least once every day, can do a lot of damage. It is necessary and can be timed almost by the minute when the season begins. This allows you to get all your shopping and laundry done and out of the way before Mother Nature makes rivers on the ground.
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