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Songkhran is the celebration of the old Thai New Year (pre 1940). Buddhists visit the temple for the ceremony of Rod Nam Dam Nua. They sprinkle water on the Buddha images, and on the hands of the monks and novices at the temple, as an offering to express confidence that the supply of water will be adequate to cover the dry season.


A festive atmosphere engulfs the whole country for the five days of holiday and all major public figures will be found somewhere or other presiding over a celebratory gathering.
Across the Kingdom, people return to their home towns so that they can spend time together with their families. People will follow traditional celebrations by making merit in wats, offering food and daily items to monks and paying respects to older members of the family, like parents and grandparents, by giving them new clothes and pouring fragrant water on their hands.
This traditional mid-summer break marks the New Year as people look forward to the harvests to come and give respect to the Lord Buddha and the spirits that permit their lives to continue.
This holiday has now become secularized, with exuberant merrymakers taking to the streets throwing water at each other, and you, by the cup full, the bucket full, or even with a hose. To add to the fun, talc is mixed with the water and may be daubed on your face. Take it all in good spirit, no one is exempt, not even the policemen. The cool water may even be a welcome relief as the festival coincides with the time when the sun is due overhead and the weather can be very hot. The gentle splashing of water has given way among many young people to large scale shooting of water jets from the back of pickup trucks and water fights in public areas.
The hot weather and the wet, festive atmosphere encourage many young (and not so young) men to become a little licentious. In the past, Songkhran was a time when young people were able to mix with some minimal supervision with a view to finding potential spouses
Pick up trucks have become the favourite mode of transport in rural Thailand and these can be "tooled up" with a 220 litre drum and a variety of receptacles for dispensing the water on the suspecting other natives. Riding a motorcycle during the 2/3 day festival can be perilous and in some circumstances, downright dangerous.



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