One of the Thailand’s most eagerly awaited national holidays, Songkran (Thai New Year), begins tomorrow, 13th April 2012.
Songkran is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s holiday, from 13th to 15th April. It is considered a time to pay respect to elders, with visits to family, friends and neighbors playing a large role in the festivities. During these visits, the young bless the old, offering jasmine garlands and gently pouring scented water over their hands. After the elders have been shown due respect, it is then their turn to bless the young, wishing them happiness and good fortune for the New Year.
This year, Team Kata Rocks got a head start on the celebrations by visiting with neighbours on 12th April. The area near Kata Rocks is lined with the homes and businesses of many Kata locals who have been integral in helping Kata Rocks achieve the success it has today. As a result, the Team organised to pay respects and bring good wishes to those who have helped us through the year.
“This is a part of our Thai culture,” shares Nook Khooaroon, Kata Rocks Procurement Manager, “but it is more than that. We visit our neighbours today to say thank you because they are important to us.”
Nook was joined by Kata Rocks Project Management (KRPM) Director John, KRPM Project Manager Apisit, KRPM Project Engineers Yod, Jeerabute and Damkerng, as well as KRPM Site Secretary Rachanee.
Kata Rocks Design Manager Mam took special care to share the experience with some beach-bound tourists, who were curious about the affair. ”It’s fun to share our culture with tourists, who wanted to know what we were doing,” said Mam. ”We explained the holiday, shared garlands, took some photos with them and wished them a Happy New Year!”
Over the years the Songkran holiday, though family-oriented in nature, has evolved into what some call “The World’s Largest Water Fight.” Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country take to the streets in a playful yet extreme version of the “pouring water” aspect of the holiday. These “water fights” count water guns, buckets of water and even water balloons as “ammunition” and last up to a week in places such as Chiang Mai. In Phuket, however, it is mainly “played” for one day.
The best places to “play Songkran” are both about 20 minutes from Kata Rocks. The first of these is in Phuket Town where Thai locals typically play or in Patong, where locals and tourists mix to the beats from DJ booths on the street. The best way to experience Songkran is wearing a bathing suit under your clothes, with all your gear in a waterproof bag–and with LOTS of water at the ready!
Sawasdee pee mai Thai–or Happy Songkran, 2012!