Suk san wan songkran, Happy Songkran Day. This is what Thai people say to each other during Songkran festivity. Originally celebrated on April 13th through 15th every year, Songkran festival is Thailand traditional new year celebration. More than that, Songkran is commonly used by Thais for family reunions, temple visits and also annual house cleaning. Just like “pulang kampung” tradition during Idul Fitri in Indonesia, most of Thai residents in Bangkok travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Songkran with their family and loved ones.
Not only celebrated in its origin country, this year Songkran Festival was also held in Jakarta. Collaborating with Sultan Hotel, Jakarta based Tourism Authority of Thailand held Songkran Festival on last April 6th. The Festival was open for public with no entry fee.
Staying dry through out this water fight celebration is an almost impossible mission. Traditionally, on Songkran Day Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbors. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl becomes a bucket, garden hose and water guns, and the spirit of holiday merriment is shared amongst all town residents and tourists alike.
The Songkran Festival held in Sultan Hotel was not much different from the one celebrated in Bangkok. After registering at the entrance, a plastic water gun was handed to me along with a few Thailand tourism information brochures. A few big buckets of water and plastic bottles had been prepared on the lawn garden and those were just very much what we needed for the water battle to begin.
Aside from the-impossible-attempt-for-not-getting-wet, stalls selling Thai food and drink were also available for hungry visitors. Supported by famous Thai restaurants in Jakarta such as Blue Elephant, Tamnak Thai and Suan Thai, the foods are delicious and still preserve their original taste. I’m very much hoping that this Songkran Festival will be held again next year in Jakarta so at least I can be more prepared to fight back and get wet. ;)