Celebrate Thai New Year With A Serious Head Beating

My mother is Thai, my brother is a former Muay Thai kickboxing champion, and I have 30+ Thai cousins and assorted other relatives still living in Thailand. While this doesn’t make me an expert on all things Thai, it does provide me with an overly inflated tone of superiority when discussing Songkran (Thai New Year), which will be celebrated in Thai Town this Sunday, April 5 as part of the 6th Annual Songkran Festival.

Muay Thai Fighter Perdforming the Wai Kru. Taken at Sityodtong Muay Thai, Pasadena, CA, February 9, 2008
Muay Thai Fighter Performing the Wai Kru. Taken at Sityodtong Muay Thai, Pasadena, CA, February 9, 2008

Like all festivals of this sort, there will be overpriced food stalls offering mediocre Thai food, displays of traditional Thai dance, raffles, religious ceremonies (Note to the Ladies: Do not ever touch the monks!), beer tents, and the 2nd Annual International Curry Festival. However, year-after-year, my favorite event of Songkran is watching the Muay Thai fighters duke it out in the ring.

All Songkran Festival events are free to spectators, so this is an excellent opportunity for first timers to introduce themselves to the rad sport of Muay Thai. From what I can tell, there is no obvious boxing schedule posted anywhere on the Songkran Festival site (please let me know if you find one), but from past years, the fights seem to go on from mid morning through late afternoon. If you happen to catch a match this Sunday during the festival, here are some things you should know about the sport. Continue reading “Celebrate Thai New Year With A Serious Head Beating”