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Muslims, on the other hand, quietly rolled in their latest new year ahead of schedule last November (following a lunar calendar). This weekend millions in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Burma will celebrate the three-day New Year holiday of , which occurs when the sun transits Aries.
All thanks to the world’s biggest water fight that’s covered in every single Songkran guide.
While many travelers know that Songkran Day is also the traditional Thai New Year, water fight has become synonymous with the festival.
Another major hazard at Songkran is getting sick from the water.
Zeiler knows these dangers all too well: “It is impossible to avoid getting it in your ears, eyes and mouth, and a lot of the water comes out of polluted and sewage filled canals,” he said.
Since Songkran Day is celebrated in April, water has become the staple of the festival.
Over the years, it has evolved from gentle water splashing at family and friends to a full-blown water fight, especially on the main streets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
“Thais get extra pleasure out of drenching foreigners so if you're white you're a walking target,” Zeiler added.
“Be prepared to get soaked.” Look beyond the carousing and there is a rich history behind all the fun.
“In Laos, they celebrate Songkran in a better manner than Thais, concentrating on the traditional meaning, which is to celebrate the New Year and pay respects to elderly family members.
Water used in the ceremony will be mixed with flowers and tradition perfume.” In response to last year’s event, which was particularly wild, Bangkok is trying to rein it in a bit this year.