Songkran is the Thai New Year's national holiday and is celebrated on 13 April every year, whilst the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. Songkran is a term derived from Sanskrit meaning 'to move' or 'movement'. It derives from the movement of the sun from one position to another in the zodiac.
The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. Mornings begin with merit-making. Visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks is commonly practiced. On this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues and the young and elderly is a traditional ritual.
The holiday is known for its water festival. Major streets are closed to traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. Traditional parades are held and in some venues "Lady Songkran" or "Miss Songkran" is crowned where contestants are clothed in traditional Thai dress.
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