Songkran Thai Water Festival


Traditional Thai New Year, or better known as Songkran Festival is celebrated in the most fun way not only by the Thais, but also people from all around the world.  How big is the 3-day celebration? An estimated 1 million travelers, both domestic and international, are expected to pass through the country’s six main airports operated by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).  As you know, most of the professional therapists in Thai Odyssey are originally from The Land of Smile, we have collected all the information you might be interested or needed regarding the largest water festival in the world. Let’s splash it!

Wait
But first of all, let’s practice your Thai a little.  Since this is the New Year they are celebrating, why not we learn a phrase or two to wish them a great year ahead?  C’mon, let’s get into the holiday spirit!  Repeat after me: “sah-wah-dee pee mai”, it means “Happy New Year”.  However, nowadays you’ll be more likely to hear this “suke sahn wahn song kran”, which means “Happy Songkran Day”.

Songkran 101
The background of Songkran festival is far more religious. The word “Songkran” stemmed from the Sanskrit “Sankranta”, which means “a move or a change”, literally.  Water is the main element of this holy festival, to wash-down the negative beliefs and actions, plus bringing good luck and prosperity in the New Year.  However, the water fiesta which was once all about fresh starts, has evolved to a fun, refreshing and a must-join yearly water fight.  Splashing water at one another has become the no.1 attraction of the festive season.  Besides, it’s the greatest way to temporarily run away from the burning heat without anyone thinking that you’re insane.  After all, April is the hottest month of the year in the exotic land.


Gear Up For The Festivities
This is war!  If you wished to come home alive, you have to be ready.  Did I just sound so serious? Anyway, since this is the water war of the world, wouldn’t it be great if you equipped yourself with some practical tools?  Water guns, water cannons, water balloons, buckets, traditionally fragranced powder and even a truck that fetches the “attackers”, you name it.  Imagine that, from children to adults, everyone is fully equipped for the festivities.  It’s a water, water, water world, only it’s not a theme park but a kingdom.  Therefore, be prepared, form a team with friends and drench yourselves in the fun.

Songkran Major Hot Spots


Bangkok
– As the city that never sleeps, is surprisingly less happening during this festive season.  The main reason being most of the locals have gone home to celebrate this national holiday with their families.  Still, you’ll find the water fights happening in few places including: various spots around Banglamphu, Rattanakosin Royal Square, Phra Athit Road, Santhichaiprakan, Wisut Krasat, Khao San Road and Silom.

Chiang Mai – The largest and one of the most culturally significant city in Thailand, is well known for arguably the most fascinating Songkran celebration in Siam nation.  The celebration goes on almost anywhere, as long as a week.

Pattaya – No stranger to tourists and expatriates, this is an island surrounded by rice crops.  Thus, Songkran festival isn’t as simple as a New Year celebration but also the time of the year to look for a rain god.  Plus, parade and cultural events also take place at the same time. Swim wear is a must-have item!

Phuket – The largest island in Thailand, is another hot spot during Songkran festival.  Water guns, water cannons, buckets and barrels full of water can be seen anywhere.  If you are interested, you can always join the Thai New Year merit-making ceremony in the community.

Khon Kaen – The home of “Sticky Rice”, is one of the four major cities in Isan province, Thailand.  Over the years, Khon Kaen has up its game in celebrating the Thai New Year.  If you’ve experienced Songkran festival in the above said locations, this would be another option to fulfill your enjoyment.

Songkran Must-know

Be Protected – The first rule about having fun is to have the practical tools.  As mentioned earlier, arming yourself will be great since there’s not an option for not getting wet in this over-the-top celebration.  The best way to do it is to have at least one water gun, never let it out of your sight and always ready to recharge.

Be Waterproof
– Of course not you, I am talking about your gadgets and valuables!  It’s advised not to bring your valuables such as jewelry and timepiece with you or you’ll be busy protecting them than yourself.  As for other must-brings including phones, cash and wallet, a waterproof bag will do.  For girls who wears makeup, be sure you’re wearing a waterproof mascara.

Dress Right
– Since you know this is a water fight, I am sure you understand shirt and slacks, gown and heels are crossed in the checklist.  Guys are simple, a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip-flips, you are good to go.  For the ladies, make sure you avoid see-through clothes.


Be Polite
– Don’t try to splash the locals with water if they expressed their unwillingness of getting drenched.  As much as we want to have fun, we should remain respectful and only target those who are in the game. If you do not want to take part, smile and say “mai len kha” (female) or “mai len krup” (male), or just wave your hand and shake your head with a smile.

No Tuk-tuk
– Only if you have quenched enough for a day and wish to go back to your hotel room. Make sure you’re off the big roads and say no to open-air transportation. A taxi is your solution. And don’t worry about your well-drenched body and clothes, the drivers are more than happy to send you to your destination.


Have I Missed The Fun?
Well, sorry to say that you have missed it.  Nevertheless, don’t be disappointed as this event will be held annually.  So mark your calendar and join in the fun next year! In the capital of Thailand, the nationwide water war lasted 3 days, from April 13 to April 15. Moreover, if you wish to prolong the festivities, heading to Chiang Mai is a great idea because the locals celebrate this national holiday up to a week.

There is always fun to visit Thailand.  The delicious food, friendly locals, cultures and affordability and many more reasons for us to visit the country again and again.  And if you can’t be there as often as you want to experience the Thai culture, you can always visit us at Thai Odyssey for a traditional Thai spa time served by our professional therapists.

Moreover, either you are looking for our nearest outlet or interested in our price packages available, you can always visit our website at www.thaiodyssey.com. Or better yet, stay in touch with us through www.facebook.com/thaiodyssey.

 

Relieve Therapy for “Text Neck”

Too much of anything can be a pain. Nowadays, even too much of texting creates unavoidable pain – the pain in the neck, that is. It even has a medical term which is called “text neck”. An epidemic that has affected millions of smartphone users.

According to Dr Kenneth Hansraj, when we stare into our phones by tilting our neck, we are increasing the weight of our heads which will cause serious stress to the neck. Without realising it, this will result in neck pain. Effectively, our head when we look straight ahead weighs about 5.4kg on our neck. When we drop our head 15° down to look at the phone, it weighs 12.2kg on the neck. The lower the head, the heavier it weighs. It will strain the neck further when the head is lowered to 60° when it will weigh 27.2kg. Imagine your fragile neck and spine are carrying the weight of a 4-year-old child for over one hour, how long before you get a neck and shoulder pain?

People are texting an average of two to four hours a day with their heads dropped down, with 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stress on the cervical spine, no wonder many people are suffering from head pain, neck pain, arm pain and numbness.

To ease the effect of dropping our head to text, what else but to text less. To take that extra care for our well-being, nevertheless, is to be cautious to find time to relax, especially the neck and shoulder areas. If you can’t find time to book yourself a massage with a therapist, work out the knots on you own with these exercises:

Head/Scalp
This is an exercise you can do whenever you feel drowsy or give yourself a short break to refresh. Just place the heel of your palms close to your ears but not cupping them. Hold your head at your temples and push scalp upwards. Hold a few seconds, and release.

Hands/Forearms
Place your right palm facing up on your thigh, push the heel of your left palm slowly along the right forearm towards the direction of your wrist. Use enough pressure to feel some heat but not burning. Continue to brush on your open palm all the way down towards your fingertips and lastly, towards your thumb. Repeat a few times, and switch hands.


Neck/Shoulders
Drop your shoulders and let loose. Slowly tuck your chin to your chest to stretch your neck. Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck and shoulders meet. Press firmly and hold, releasing when the muscles feel more relaxed. Roll your shoulders forward and back slowly. Repeat as needed.


Perhaps it is good to schedule your time for a regular head and shoulder massage at Thai Odyssey. At least three times a week for a rejuvenating time after work. Do remember that for a one-hour foot massage, you will feel more relieved with a ten minute head and shoulder massage at the end of the foot massage therapy. Be rest assured that this will leave you feeling light and refreshed even if you intend to go back to work.