The heat is on and the best way to cool down in Thailand ? Get wet! April marks the peak of the hottest, driest season and also the start of Thai New Year which is celebrated by the best, longest and wettest festival, Songkran. I experienced two Songkrans during my time living in Thailand and it’s safe to say it’s an unforgettable experience! It’s a long weekend for Thai workers, so expect to encounter everyone from young to old with watersoakers, buckets, hoses and water pistols galore.
Brightly painted elephants dance down the streets of Chiang Mai, cheerfully spraying water over passers by … Along the Koh San Road in Bangkok there are musicians paving the way for merriment. On the islands the festivities reach a climax and behold anyone driving along the dirt roads, you will get sploshed, splattered and soaked with water, guaranteed!! Its all in good spirits and unites locals and farangs alike.
Another of my favourite Thai festivals is Loi Krathong, held annually in November, where beautifully hand-made caskets of flowers and leaves are floated down a river. The idea is to welcome new life and prosperity and let go of any bad luck as the basket drifts down stream.
In November 2013, I was coming towards the end of a tough few months working in Bangkok. Having been living away for nearly 2 years, I was seriously missing my family and friends in the UK. I knelt with my flower boat and watched it sail away, taking with it (I fervently hoped) all the sadness and loneliness I had held with me for the last 6 months. I remember wishing (equally fervently) for something new to happen. Something wonderful. I didn’t know what but I truly felt something shift in me as I watched my wish glide away into the future.
A little under a year later I gave birth to my first baby, a beautiful boy. I could not be happier or feel more complete with my best, most perfect thing. Ever. And I will never be lonely again. Thank you, Loi Krathong.