Our XploreAsia office held a wonderful and water-filled Songkran party that was truly a blast! But the actual holiday of Songkran started even earlier the night before. Music, dancing, and of course, so much water filled the streets from the evening on, and everywhere you looked, the energy and excitement was palpable in the air. We sat down to chat with some of our interns about their very first Songkran experience and what they loved most about the holiday!
Did you have any prior knowledge or expectations about Songkran?
Krish: I didn’t know too much about the holiday. I’d heard a lot about it from friends, but I didn’t really know what to expect.
Isabelle: So many people kept telling me that it was “one of the best days of their life,” but I really had no idea what to expect. A giant water fight? It sounded like fun, but not THAT much fun. But when the day of Songkran rolled around, I was proven wrong; the holiday is truly is one of the best days of the year, and I’ve never seen that much excitement and joy in the air. It infuses the whole city.
Jane: Yes, I’d had heard it was a lot of fun and that you’re not dry the whole day!
How would you describe the holiday to someone that’s never experienced Songkran before?
Marti: Pure joy!
Krish: The greatest water fight in the history of man-kind.
Jane: The best day of your life. I would give up the 4th of July for Songkran. The holiday just unites the country.
Do you have a crazy story or funny memory from the day?
Marti: One of our placement coordinators Nat getting inside the water bin on the side of the street.
Krish: Our office mom “Meh” with the water gun just having a blast trying to hit as many people with water as possible.
XploreAsia held a short blessing ceremony after the festivities where the older generation (the mothers) gave a blessing to each of us there. It was such a beautiful moment for everyone there.
Have you ever been a part of a ceremony like that before? What were some of your favourite memories from that special ceremony?
Krish: I had been to a monk blessing ceremony before, but this particular ceremony was different in that it really highlighted the importance of family to me. Through the experience, I felt like a welcomed member of the XploreAsia team.
Marti: Our office mom “Meh” crying through the ceremony. It was so touching to see the love and care she gave to every person.
Jane: I’ve never experienced anything like the ceremony before. It felt very sentimental and was centered around family; even though it was in a company setting, I could certainly sense the family air.
Let’s play a game of Songkran lightning round!
Most important item to wear on Songkran:
Krish & Jane: Hawaiian shirt!
Marti: Water-proof bag (don’t get a cheap one; it’ll break down!)
Water weapon of choice:
Krish & Jane: Mini Bucket
Marti: Water gun
Sounds of Songkran:
Marti: Children laughing and yelling, or the sounds of someone yelling as they got doused with cold water!
Isabelle: Splashing of water, live music from stages around Hua Hin on the night before Songkran, people yelling and shouting, the sound of people saying Happy New Year to you when they put paste on your face.
Best moment of Songkran:
Marti: Street festivities. We were shuffling an inch at a time down the street on the night before Songkran.
Krish: Definitely soaking my boss with water!
Jane: When the water fights first start and everyone goes from being dry to wet.
Favourite Hawaiian shirt colour:
Jane: I don’t have a favourite colour; I mostly just loved all the bright colours everywhere!
Unexpected sight at Songkran:
Isabelle: Bags of chalk being sold on the sides of the road, and all the colourful Hawaiian shirts.
Krish: I remember seeing a guy jumping out of a bucket of water.
Jane: There wasn’t one person unhappy in the crowd. And I was surprised by getting the chalky paste put on my face. At first, I thought it wasn’t a good thing, but then I realized that it’s meant to ward off bad spirits and is a sign of affection or good luck.
Thank you so much to our wonderful interns! We are so glad that you had a wonderful experience at your very first Songkran! We sure had an incredible time celebrating with over 100 people, new faces, locals, alumni, and our office dogs Nom Sod, Pudding, and Pumpkin. Happy Thai New Year!