Customs: Thailand celebrates the Songkran New Year with water fights

The famous Water Festival, the traditional Lunar New Year festival, has begun in Thailand.

Customs: Thailand celebrates the Songkran New Year with water fights

The famous Water Festival, the traditional Lunar New Year festival, has begun in Thailand. Traditionally, exuberant water fights take place on the Songkran holidays from April 13th to 15th - but the fun was canceled for three years due to the corona pandemic.

All the more locals and tourists flocked to famous streets such as Silom Road in the center and the backpacker mile Khao San Road in Bangkok on Thursday at the start of the festival. Many found the cool water to be very refreshing at temperatures of around 35 degrees in the shade.

Stands with motley water guns and pistols lined up on the sidewalks. Many participants had put on rain protection as a precaution. Children in particular were already splashing water on passers-by in the early morning. Pick-ups with the Thai flag and lots of buckets of water drove through the city, drenching tourists. "I can finally experience that!" said the Chinese Thong, who is studying in Thailand - but has not yet experienced a "normal" Songkran party because of Corona.

Partying was also popular on the largest island of Phuket. "The otherwise so reserved Thais prefer to aim at holidaymakers!" A German, who was celebrating on the famous Patong beach, told the German Press Agency. Huge water barrels kept supplying supplies. "The mood is totally boisterous and friendly, just beaming faces," she said.

Many Thais have a whole week off because of Songkran and travel from the cities to their families in the countryside. Many tourists also regularly flock to the kingdom for the high holiday. However, the water festival also has a more serious side: it stands for cleansing and renewal. Thus, before the celebrations begin, people clean their houses and prepare everything for the festivities.

For example, food is prepared for Buddhist temple ceremonies. It is also considered a sign of respect to douse the many Buddha statues and the hands of older family members with some water. The word Songkran stands for the transition into the constellation of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac.

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