Southeast Asia celebrates new year with gigantic water festival

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Southeast Asia celebrates new year with gigantic water festival
A boy runs as he is splashed with water during the opening ceremony of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Revellers take part in a water fight during the Songkran water festival in Silom road on April 13, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Songkran festival marks the traditional Thai New Year and is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people and is meant as a symbol of cleansing and purification. (Photo by Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
Merrymakers are sprayed with water during the first day of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
People on the back of a truck react as a bucket of water is thrown on them during a traditional Thai New Year celebrations or Songkran water festival in Bangkok Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: A young Thai girl is pulled down the street in a plastic bin during the Songkran festival on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: A young Thai man has covered his face in white powder, a Songkran tradition, on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: A traditionally dressed Thai performer reacts as she is hit with water during a parade on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: A young Thai boy reacts as a bucket of cold water is thrown towards him during a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals make offerings to monks during an alms giving ceremony on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
Revelers take part in water fights as they celebrate the Thai traditional New Year in a water festival known as Songkran in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on April 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Madaree TOHLALA (Photo credit should read MADAREE TOHLALA/AFP/Getty Images)
Revelers take part in water fights as they celebrate the Thai traditional New Year in a water festival known as Songkran in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on April 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Madaree TOHLALA (Photo credit should read MADAREE TOHLALA/AFP/Getty Images)
Revelers take part in water fights as they celebrate the Thai traditional New Year in a water festival known as Songkran in Bangkok on April 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Revelers take part in water fights as they celebrate the Thai traditional New Year in a water festival known as Songkran, at Silom road in Bangkok on April 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Merrymakers dance on a truck as they are sprayed with water during the first day of annual Thingyan water festival celebrations Monday, April 13, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Merrymakers are sprayed with water during the first day of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside the Yangon City Hallin in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Merrymakers on a truck are sprayed with water during the first day of annual Thingyan water festival celebrations Monday, April 13, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking New Year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Ethnic Pa-O traditional dancing troupe members wait to perform during the opening ceremony of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, people watch performance by Myanmar traditional dancing troupes during the opening ceremony of the annual Thingyan water festival celebrations outside Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, April 13, 2015. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days-long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking the new year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Merrymakers dance on a truck as they are sprayed with water during the first day of annual Thingyan water festival celebrations Monday, April 13, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking New Year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Myanmar youngsters in punk fashion gather at a park as they cerebrate the eve of Myanmar’s traditional water festival Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar will celebrate its annual water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday which marks the start of the New Year according to the traditional Buddhist calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Merrymakers on a truck are sprayed with water during the first day of annual Thingyan water festival celebrations Monday, April 13, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar began celebrating its annual days long water festival, known as Thingyan, on Monday, marking New Year according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
A boy reacts as a bucket of water is splashed on him during the Songkran water festival to celebrate Thai New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
People riding on a motorbike react as a boy splashes water on them during traditional Thai New Year celebrations or Songkran water festival in Bangkok Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
A man wearing a mask riding on the back of a truck is splashed water during traditional Thai New Year celebrations or Songkran water festival in Bangkok Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
People take part in celebrations for Thingyan, a water festival which marks the country's new year in Yangon on April 16, 2014. New year is celebrated on April 13 in the four southeastern Asian nations of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. AFP PHOTO / SOE THAN WIN (Photo credit should read Soe Than WIN/AFP/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Revellers take part in a water fight during the Songkran water festival in Silom road on April 13, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Songkran festival marks the traditional Thai New Year and is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people and is meant as a symbol of cleansing and purification. (Photo by Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Revellers take part in a water fight during the Songkran water festival in Khao San road on April 13, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Songkran festival marks the traditional Thai New Year and is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people and is meant as a symbol of cleansing and purification. (Photo by Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: A Thai boy reacts as a bottle of cold water is poured on his head during a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai locals and foreigners take part in a city-wide water fight on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - APRIL 13: Thai performers take part in a Songkran parade on April 13, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Songkran festival, marking the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15. The throwing of water was traditionally a sign of respect and well wishing during the festival. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
A woman and a girl riding on a motorbike react as a boy splashes water on them during traditional Thai New Year celebrations or Songkran water festival in Bangkok Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
A tourist tries to escape as water is fired at him during the Songkran festival to celebrate the Thai New Year on Samui Island in Surat Thani province, Thailand, Monday, April 13, 2015. The Songkran festival, also known as the Thai New Year or Thailand Water Festival, was originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha. Today, the festival has transitioned into three days of water play fun, splashing locals and visitors alike with buckets of water, water hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A tourist is showered in water by locals during the Songkran festival to celebrate the Thai New Year on Samui Island in Surat Thani province, Thailand, Monday, April 13, 2015. The Songkran festival, also known as the Thai New Year or Thailand Water Festival, was originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha. Today, the festival has transitioned into 3 days of water play fun, splashing locals and visitors alike with buckets of water, water hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Motorcyclists are showered with water during the Songkran festival to celebrate the Thai New Year on Samui Island in Surat Thani province, Thailand, Monday, April 13, 2015. The Songkran festival, also known as the Thai New Year or Thailand Water Festival, was originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha. Today, the festival has transitioned into 3 days of water play fun, splashing locals and visitors alike with buckets of water, water hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
People riding on a motorbike react as a girl splashes water on them during traditional Thai New Year celebrations or Songkran festival in Bangkok Sunday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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Locals and tourists in Thailand and Myanmar came out Monday to celebrate the beginning of the massive multi-day water festival that marks the new year.

Called Thingyan in Myanmar and Songkran in Thailand, people traditionally celebrate the holiday by dousing family members with water as a sign of respect to Buddha. In recent years the celebration has grown into a much wilder event in most major cities and tourist destinations with locals and foreigners coming together joyfully.

In places like Chiang Mai and Bangkok, people line the streets with buckets of ice-cold water and super soaker-style squirt guns to playfully spray each other throughout the day and sometimes into the evening.

While the festival officially began on Monday, celebrations began early in some places, and dozens of Songkran-related fatalities were reported as of Sunday by the Bangkok Post, with drunk driving and speeding mentioned as the primary factors.

Thais Celebrate Traditional New Year with a Splash
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