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Songkran Water Festival

The scorching temperatures of April (click here for a weather chart) are alleviated by the timely shenanigans of the April 13th Songkran Water Festival, which is essentially a day-long, nationwide water-fight where everyone ends up soaked in water and caked in soggy powder.

This Songran, we planned the laughter-laden liquid mayhem with military precision. After recruiting a squad of foot-soldiers and arming them with water pistols, we organized the ammunition – two large water buts, in which we placed massive chunks of ice - it’s fun watching the expression on peoples’ faces when, expecting a warm drenching, they get hit by freezing water instead.

It’s a good idea to pick a victim who doesn’t look likely to drop dead from cardiac arrest – and make sure you have a clear escape route.

Whilst our English ‘soldiers’ were complaining about the weather and our Americans were comparing weapon sizes, our Australians decided war was too much like hard work, downed tools and cracked open the first beers of the day – at 11am.

The Brits and the Americans formed teams. We wouldn’t attack each other, but we would compete, on a points system. The team with the highest score would win. The scoring system went like this:

  1. For every WET person soaked, 0 points would be awarded
  2. For every DRY person soaked, 1 point would be awarded
  3. For every WET POLICEMAN, 3 points would be awarded
  4. For every DRY POLICEMAN, 5 points would be awarded
  5. For every WET MONK, 10 points
  6. For every DRY MONK, 20 points

We Brits were winning comfortably, until the Ozzies distracted us with a bucket of Mojito. We didn’t notice the pick-up truck full of monks driving past until it was too late, and our ex-colonial cousins won all the glory.

Final score: USA 126 points, UK 76 points (give or take a dozen or so).

Readers might find it surprising that policemen and monks will put up with having buckets of water thrown over them but, on April 13th every year, it’s completely allowed.


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