2009 Thai New Year Festival

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yesterday I attended the 2009 Songkran Festival, a festival of gargantuan proportions dedicated to the Thai New Year.

The festival's sheer size (which is the largest anywhere): taking up half a mile's worth of East Hollywood, is a testament, speaking volumes about the raw diversity of Los Angeles. Despite its relative success, the festival is still in its infancy, this being only its 6th year -and my first. Anyways, the event was packed to the gills, with what seemed to be a broad, never-ending expanse of people as far man is concerned. Present at the festival, was a huge cross-section of Thai overseas culture; a myriad of arts & crafts and food vendors, performers dancing and singing to traditional Thai tunes, a Muay Thai fight, a Singha beer garden and a beauty pageant. Oddities included the ubiquitous Thai ladyboys, death metal bands and bizarrely enough, a curry cook-off.

I got there sometime around 12:30, after taking what I call the Metro "Grand Prix" ; the (lethal) combination of the Green, Blue and Red Lines. Upon emerging from the Hollywood/Western Metro station, I was greeted by an almost dizzying monotony of people - one as far as the eye can see. People of all colors, hues, shapes, sizes, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds had descended on the venue. I thought to myself, pretty much the whole LA human gamut was represented. Walking around, I was welcomed by several enthusiastic, jubilant locals, many of who instructed me to take their photos. Later on, having visited and exhausted the extensive site offerings, I pretty much delved into my normal photography realm. The aforementioned was not to be done before feasting on delicious Thai goodness on a stick -- satay.

Without further adieu:

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