In Southeast Asia, the New Year Begins in April

During Songkran, the Southeast Asian New Year, people cruise the street in pickup trucks loaded with kids throwing water.
Chauffeured by their parents, kids
patrol the streets with buckets and
water guns, soaking all in range.

While our year begins on January 1, in Southeast Asia the year begins on April 13.  This is the first day of Songkran, also known as the “Water Festival” and the celebrations last for three days. Songkran celebrates the vernal equinox and is a favorite holiday in Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Cambodia.

It’s a time for fun, especially if you’re a kid, and in the villages and towns, people in pickup trucks slowly cruise the streets, their truck beds loaded with kids equipped with buckets of water and “Super Soaker” water guns.  Water is constantly flying and everyone is wet, but nobody minds, since this is the hottest time of the year. In one city I watched the local kids and police fighting it out with squirt guns.

Soaking wet California Native founder, Lee Klein, pedals his rickshaw back into the melee of Songkran's Water Festival.
Soaking wet California Native
founder, Lee Klein, pedals his
rickshaw back into the melee of
Songkran’s Water Festival.

During the time of Songkran, many community events and parades are held, both secular and religious, including the Miss Songkran beauty pageant. It also is a traditional time for family gatherings.

As a tourist, it is a wet but great time to visit.

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