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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Chiang Mai: A Missed Festival

Chiang Mai has a slew of festivals, and I just missed a major one. I hurt my knee playing with the kindergarten kids, and have been trying to rest it as much as possible. Festivals always involve a lot of walking around, so I really didn't think it was a good idea. I was working Saturday morning, and missed the parade which was the one thing I would have attended. That makes me wonder whether the $6.50 per hour was worth it. I only worked two hours, and transportation costs were $2.00. Then I remember that the net from those two hours covered the cost of my room for two nights.

I've missed a few other festivals, mostly because I didn't really know about them. The Umbrella Festival out in a village called Bo Sang, for instance. And I deliberately skipped all the events associated with Bike Week.

Chinese New Year celebrations will start in about ten days, I think. In April, the Thai New Year begins. This is the really big event here. It's a three day holiday, and is known as Songkran (although I'm not sure I spelled that right). The Water Festival is apparently a wild event, and has gotten a lot wilder since the invention of those really big water pistols. By the middle of April, the temperature here will be 42C or so, or around 107F. I presume this makes being doused by water on a more or less continuous basis a bit more acceptable.

Then, suddenly, the festivals end, and there is nothing unil Loi Kratong opens the season in November. During this festival drought in Chiang Mai, some other cities in the north take up the slack.

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