For the last week or so Hawaiian shirts, sarongs, psychedelic moo moo dresses and large tops made from material similar to that of a table cloth, have been appearing on mass in the department stores. Not only for sale, but worn by the store staff. Blue Hawaii, except I haven't spotted Elvis...yet!
This is great, because we're going to Phuket soon and Chiang Mai isn't usually a flood with beach going gear. Understandably, considering there's isn't a beach within cooee. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about those one piece swimsuits with the skirts attached, which seem to be in the majority...but, then again, this is Thailand!
Presuming, but not sure, this was all in preparation for Songkraan, I asked my favourite checkout chick...she just loves my dumb questions...I mean, she really does!
I motion to her colourful hibiscus print shirt "Your shirt, is it for Songkraan?" She gives me a puppy like tilted head.
OK! I motion to the other checkout chicks one by one..."dawk maai, dawk maai, dawk mai..." (flower, flower, flower...) as I point to my own shirt.
"Ah, Songkraan", she says and puts up one finger, "April."
"Oh, from the 1st of April? And they are for Songkraan?"
"Yes" she says, "have you been to Songkraan before?"
"No, this is my first time. I've missed it before." She smiles and hands me my change, but there's a 'you have no idea what you're in for' glint in her eyes.
I leave the store with yet another quandary. So, the beach attire is for Songkraan, but why? Is it just that both have the common denominator of water or is there some deeper connection?
Wear light, quick-dry clothing. Thais don Hawaiian shirts, which are inexpensive and available from local supermarkets - PRWeb.com
Dressed in the brightly colored Hawaiian shirts popular with Thais during the festival... - Perceptive Travel
And this observation: Dress code: most people wear Hawaiian shirts called beach shirts. Made from cotton, it's perfect for summer time, and it's not too thin to see your underwear. With the colorful theme, it's harder to see your body. Some old people who don't want to play just don't dare to wear beach shirts for weeks, or they will be wet immediately the second they step out of the door. - Trip Adviser Member
I was contemplating buying a shirt, but after reading that, I think I'll be target enough without one. And, it's appearing that the only connection between the loud shirts and Songkran...IS water!
Water guns. I have two. One purse size and one a little larger. No match for buckets and giant ladles, I know...but at least I'm not unarmed.
It's not all about water you know. I'm off to see some of the more culturally enriching sites very soon, which Talen has so kindly documented in his Chiang Mai Fest post.
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai