Thailand’s Calendar Event: Songkran Festival

The Songkran Festival celebrates the arrival of the Thai New Year. Also known as the Water Festival, Songkran can rightfully be called the world’s largest water fight, as the old tradition of pouring water on celebrant’s hands evolved into a raucous party atmosphere where squirt guns and pipes, water bombs, and buckets of water are used to soak anyone within range.

Originally determined by the Thai Lunar calendar, Songkran is now fixed to the solar calendar. Songkran is a time for Thais to go home to visit and pay respect to their parents. People also go to the wats (temples) to pray and to clean Buddha images.

In Chiang Mai, the Buddha statues are paraded through the streets of the city so that everyone may have a chance to wash them.