Songkran Festival

Considered one of Thailand's most important festivals, Songkran is celebrated annually to mark the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year.

The world's biggets water fight

Best bring your waterproofs if you’re visiting Thailand during April’s Songkran Festival.

That’s not down to wet weather or anything. It’s just that the whole of Thailand during this period is gripped by a collective – but joyful – madness which makes it appear that the whole country is indulging in one giant water fight.

Water fights – and we stress again, it’s all good clean fun – have somehow become the pivotal part of Songkran, which is a celebration of the Thai new year.

Thailand's most important national holiday

You might think this watery theme could have evolved from the fact Songkran signals the start of the rainy season.

But there is deep ritual at its heart, as Songkran is a Buddhist festival and Thailand’s most important national holiday to boot.

Cleaning is a big part of the philosophy during Songkran. Buddha icons are washed – a metaphor for warding off evil spirits - and Buddhist monks and temples are visited, to bring forth good luck as the old year is replaced by the new.