Although this year there might be that smoke haze you have been reading about from fires in the area, it's hard to see Chiang
Mai missing out on Songkran!
Mai is without doubt Thailand's leading venue for Songkran
celebrations and in fact the haze might just mean that people enjoy Songkran sooner than later! Chiang Mai is seriously thinking about bringing the annual Songkran festival forward from April 13. 2007 to April 1, 2007. Authorities have been trying to increase humidity to prompt rain and the festival, where people spray each other with water, might just be the means of increasing humidity enough.
Whenever it isif you experience Songkran up there, you will see people in Chiang Mai take Songkran VERY seriously indeed.
They get organized - they drive gangs of people around the
city in pickup trucks hunting down willing victims to soak.
Herds of people stand along the streets armed with water pistols
and great big barrels of water that are continually being
filled by hoses. All of this preparation is for just on objective
- to get as many people as you can as wet as possible! The
whole scene is absolute chaos, but fantastic fun that lasts
for three or four whole days - even longer in more rural parts
of Chiang Mai province! However, if you dig a bit deeper,
order in the chaos. Songkran is not just about wild water
fights… it has a calmer, quainter side.
Mai, the traditional festival that underlies the Songkran
festivities has a structured, ordered route. On 12 April people
clean their houses and generally prepare for the coming New
Year. It is a day of procession with Buddha images and floats
that start at Nawarat Bridge and weave their way through the
city streets culminating at Wat Phra Singh. On 13 April people
prepare meals and food for merit-making activities that occur
the next day. People also go to the Mae Ping River to collect
sand to take to Wat Phra Singh. Here they make the sand into
sand castles which they stick flowers into.