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.