Splashing good time in Thailand's Songkran water festival

Elephants spray water at tourists in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- REUTERS
Elephants spray water at tourists in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- REUTERS
Elephants splash foreign tourists in the back of a truck with water as they take part in water battles ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Elephants splash foreign tourists in the back of a truck with water as they take part in water battles ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
An elephant sprays water during a water battle with elephants and tourists as people celebrate ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
An elephant sprays water during a water battle with elephants and tourists as people celebrate ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Elephants spray tourists with water in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Elephants spray tourists with water in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A girl splashes elephants with water in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A girl splashes elephants with water in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Elephants spray water at tourists in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Elephants spray water at tourists in celebration of the Songkran water festival in Thailand's Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A tourist is splashed with water by an elephant during a water battle in the street as people celebrate ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A tourist is splashed with water by an elephant during a water battle in the street as people celebrate ahead of the Songkran Festival for the Thai New Year in Ayutthaya province on April 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

April is usually the hottest month in Thailand, which is as good a time as any to celebrate Songkran. Tourists know the festival as the one where everyone throws water at everyone else. 

But the festival holds more meaning for the Thais. In the same way that Chinese travel home en masse for reunion dinner and Chinese New Year, the Thais return home to celebrate time with their families during this festival. They also visit temples, give alms to monks and take part in a religious ritual which involves bathing a Buddha image in fragrant water. 

The water throwing may seem just fun and a great way to cool off in the heat, but for the Thais, it symbolises the washing off of misfortunes and a welcoming of the new year with a fresh start.

Comments