This week marks the kick-off of the Songkran festival, which is celebrated across Thailand from April 13 to 15 (although the festivities often extend for up to a week in some parts of the country). The festival marks the traditional Thai new year, along with the end of the blazing hot dry season and ushering in of the rainy season.

Thai people typically return to their hometowns to spend time with their families. They also visit their local temples to ceremonially wash their Buddha icons, with the hope of receiving good luck and prosperity in the new year.

The festival is best known, however, for its large-scale water fights. Locals and tourists alike take to the streets with buckets of water and water pistols to soak anyone and everyone around them. Soaking each other with water is a sign of well-wishing and helping one another wash away bad luck. Participation is easy – in fact, it’s unavoidable! If you find yourself in the streets of Thailand during Songkran, you are guaranteed to get drenched.

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