Another year rolls in. Here in Thailand you have several New Year celebrations to choose from, or you can have all of them... Aside from 1st January, you also have the Chinese new Year and the traditional Thai new year, Songkran, which used to be the date for changing the year on the calendar. Thailand only adopted the Western New Year in 1940. Songkran is one of the biggest celebrations in Thailand, mixing tradition, family and of course plenty of Sanook (fun). The traditions still apply - New Year is a time for cleaning your home, and wishing elders good luck by sprinkling them gently with water. Buddha images are also cleansed. We started our Songkran this year with some tradition...
And then took a drive around Phuket Town. Much of the town seemed very quiet, as the local police have been really trying to make things safer this year, with water throwing only supposed to be in designated areas to prevent accidents. We started to wonder where all the people had gone... maybe all gone to Patong Beach as we had done last year? Finally as we headed down Phuket Road towards Sapan Hin, we found the center of local festivities. The road was lined with people throwing water and full of pick up trucks loaded with local folk and large barrels of water. Little chance of traffic accidents here as the traffic was moving so slowly, but that gave me the chance to snap some photos out of the window...
We decided against Patong Beach this year, though I would have liked to see some of the big bikes, as the Phuket Bike Week coincides with Songkran, but getting to Patong involves busy roads and too much traffic - it took an hour to drive there last year from home, a trip which normally takes 10 minutes. Instead we took a break and went for a quiet lunch by the beach, then headed home where the kids were given free reign to throw water at mum and dad.
• More Songkran 2008 Photos on the Songkran 2008 Blog
Wishing you all a Sawadee Pee Mai from Phuket!
• More Songkran Photos