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Songran takes places every year between 13-15 April. Songkran is a celebration of the Thai New Year, but most westerners call it the Water Festival due to the wild water throwing event it has turned into.
Elements of the original festival remain; at temples, homes and even in department stores, Buddha images are prepared for the pouring of small libations of water over them. Children pour water and oils over the hand of their parents and grandparents.
The modern festival is quite wild, but generally remains very good natured despite the copious quantities of alcohol that get consumed.
If you're on the streets while the festival is on, you will get wet. Even the poor old policemen on their motorcycles can't escape the gangs of youngsters with buckets, hosepipes and pump-action water guns. Convoys of pickup trucks roam the streets with large barrels of water and dozens of people in the back, looking for a friendly water fight with anyone who comes along!
Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most beautiful festivals, and takes place on the evening of the full moon in mid-November . Just after dusk, everyone heads for the river, a canal, or any body of water. Floats, called Krathong made with banana wood, are placed on the water, with banana leaves, a stick of insence, a coin or two, and a flower. People offer a short prayer to seek a blessing from the Water Goddess and Lord BUddha before launcing the krathong into the water. Thousands of these floats light up the waterways acros Bangkok, and the whole country. It's a special time for families and lovers. The act is symbolic of letting go of all grudges, anger and defilements, so that you can start life afresh on a better footing.