There was little that could have prepared me for my first experience stimulating Songkran in Thailand. On the first day of the feast, I innocently went to my apartment in Bangkok and got into what looked like a surreal war zone and watery. The streets were flooded with water full of warriors wielding water guns, super soakers, hoses, buckets, garbage cans and anything that could get their hands on to disperse their liquid ammunition. The teenagers took refuge behind road signs and street corners and launched strategic attacks on vehicles and pedestrians. Gang crammed into the back of pickups and fired shots into the crowd violently, as he crossed past. There were drive-by squirtings everywhere. It Songkran, Thai New Year. I was unarmed and foreign fun and an easy target for young people around me. A few minutes after the frenzy agog open water, was completely soaked with laughter and robbers, wet and bewildered, hurried back to the safety of my apartment. What the hell was going on out there, I wondered, while watching the madness of my window. It was mid April, and as I soon discovered, Thailand celebrates the Lunar New Year festivals massive water for several days very soggy. The origins of Songkran almost a thousand years ago, when the Tai people (ancestors of present-day Thailand) in Yunnan Province of China celebrate the beginning of a new crop cycle during the fifth full moon lunar calendar. The Songkran water is used both as symbol of purification and renewal, and in the past, Thai delicately scented water sprinkled silver bowls in the hands of family members respected. They also made pilgrimages to the temples and gently bathe the Buddha images in a similar manner. In recent years, however, the humble religious aspects of holidays has given way to the water war without restrictions. The youth wielding water pistols, buckets and hoses to the attacks of vertigo for pedestrians and every other day and night. Lunar New Year falls on strike in the middle of the hot season in the region, the holidays are a good way for everyone to cool. Festival is a fun and crazy, but for maximum enjoyment, it pays to be prepared. The next day, you can bet he was ready. My wallet and camera, and a towel and change of clothes, were safely stowed in plastic bags. He was armed with my newly purchased top of the range supersuper-ultra-soaking, and I was not afraid to use it. I arrived at Khao San Road, popular with backpackers Banglamphu refuge and center of the Songkran festivities with a mix of fear and excitement. When I arrived, the street was packed with revelers throwing water and soaked in all directions. People lined the street with buckets of water, pumped from large guns on the back of trucks, jets sniper windows, the street was filled with artificial rain. Great Valleys Water has been placed at various points along the road to foot soldiers could refuel. Despite the high temperature baking was clearly no shortage of ammunition here. Would be a long battle and wet. Besides launching wild water, people also faces soaking each other with a paste of white powder. Originally, this powder is applied to the bodies of others as a sign of protection or to ward off evil, but today during the Songkran is smeared indiscriminately to anyone within reach. Standing there, surrounded by hundreds of screaming white faces for a moment I wondered if he had inadvertently wandered into the set of low-budget zombie movie.Then the first stream of water from an unidentified attacker fell on me in a jet ice and I remembered my mission. Guns wet, they marched boldly into chaos in order to everything in sight. Although usually the enclave of Khao San Road is a haven for foreign backpackers, during Songkran multicultural becomes a free for all, with the Thais and foreigners soaked and smiling, high on the fun of the festival. And many of them had played, obviously this game before. Songkraners smarter than they were wearing rain ponchos, umbrellas and even goggles. Less mind was made almost characters in costume, with Superman and Spiderman to be the favorites - but even superheroes who have had trouble avoiding a dive that day in particular. Music pumped out of the bars and speakers along the street, small groups stopped dancing madly where once there was space, and the whole crowd threw with an energy and enthusiasm was simply intoxicating. I danced for hours and sprinkled with the best of them, and more fun than you could shake a water gun. When he finally came home much later that night, I was in a sorry state. Her hair was wet and matted, my face was smeared with talcum gloopy, and needless to say I was wet. If not for my great smile that could have appeared in a zombie movie myself. This year I will be back in Khao San Road for another water war, but this time I will be much more prepared. I'm sure people laugh when they see me come into my boots, goggles and a plastic poncho, but I will be the drying and laughing at the end of the celebrations and I can not wait.Although Songkran is a unique Thai tradition, the fun character of the party has a very universal appeal. As I danced along Khao San that day, watching the smiling faces covered with paste of all nationalities around me reminded me that even though each is unique, in our pursuit of fun that are also undoubtedly "same same.