Bangkok’s New Year makes a splash
Wet and wild, Thais certainly know how to celebrate their New Year with a splash. During Thailand’s Buddhist Songkran Festival, which runs from 13 to 15 April each year, water guns, water bottles and even buckets of water are used to ring in the coming year. Traditionally, fragrant water was used to cleanse the image of the Buddha; it was thought to have been blessed and would bring good fortune to those it touched. Today, the pouring of water symbolises paying respect to others and washing away misfortune from the previous year.
Although the festival ends on the 15th, the national holiday continues until the 17th, with many Thais visiting family over this festive period. Similar epic water fights also ring in the New Year in Laos (12 to 15 April), Cambodia (14 to 16 April) and Myanmar (13 to 16 April).
Pictured here, the festival is in full swing in Bangkok’s Silom district. (Phillippa Stewart)