Southeast Asia celebrates new year with gigantic water festival

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
23 PHOTOS
Thingyan Songkran water festival Southeast Asia
See Gallery
Southeast Asia celebrates new year with gigantic water festival
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)
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 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)
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)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners