Thai New Year party goes off with a splash

Peter de Kruijff
A huge gathering of Karratha residents descended on Dodd Park for Songkran.

Karratha's Thai community welcomed their new year with a massive water fight and feed at Dodd Court Park on Sunday.

Known as Songkran, the holiday, according to local Thai woman Sunan Ong-Arch, is the most important celebration of the year.

She said the event was open to the entire community and a good way to show off Thai traditions.

Some of the Songkran rituals are quite solemn with prayer taking place in the morning and a blessing of elders in the afternoon during the main celebrations.

There were highly decorated sandcastles, women dressed in beautiful garbs and, of course, plenty of water pistols, buckets and blow-up pools filled with water as about 60 people washed away the sins of last year in a big water fight.

There was also a fashion parade and plenty of dancing to upbeat Thai music.

Pilbara Multicultural Association president Judy Wright said the event had been the brain child of Apple Coombe, who called her on Easter Sunday asking how they could organise a celebration.