I live about half a block from the main Thai area in Hollywood, so I can get delicious Thai food at 2am in the morning. Which is awesome for someone like me who keeps vampire hours most of the time. This also means I was able to walk to the Curry Festival a couple of weeks ago. Today marks the beginning of Thai New Year, known as Songkran.
I wish I had realized earlier that Songkran was coming up as the Thai holiday is celebrated with socializing, spring cleaning, and throwing water at other people. Originally, the water was apparently intended to be spiritually cleansing as it was what was used for spring cleaning the Buddha statues. The young could observe the holiday by sprinkling water which was thus blessed and perhaps lightly scented on the hands of respected elders. Today, the fun aspect of dowsing others with water is emphasized and people of all ages head outdoors to fire water guns at one another. This means one should be conscious, while dripping wet, of a sense of personal renewal.
Songkran actually runs through April 15, so there might still be time to get or make the perfect water gun. A gentleman named John Young has designed The Ultimate Water Gun (pictured) using a fire extinguisher and a motorcycle helmet.
When I was in college, I was Treasurer of the Strategic Games Club which used to play a sort of free-for-all Assassin in the tunnels underneath the school. Motorized water guns were popular, but the homemade monstrosities usually were most effective. The pesticide sprayer backpack was a particularly devastating model, although I personally lacked the upper body strength to run around with one on my back. I totally needed The Ultimate Water Gun made out of a fire extinguisher and a motorcycle helmet.
I am at least going to treat myself to a new water gun, even if I don’t start crafting or mad science work on one today. I think Thai New Year sounds way better than American New Year. I would far prefer strangers fire water cannons at me all day than expect to be entitled to tongue me at a specific time of night. It is really hot in Thailand this time of year too, so getting soaking wet is extra-refreshing. Really, I just love the idea of a traditional holiday reason to have a goofy water fight.