The Buddhist festival of Songkran will bring lively scenes to Thailand next week as the locals celebrate with new year festivities.

Next week sees the beginning of the Buddhist New Year, with the Songkran festival taking place from April 13th-15th, meaning culture vultures on flights to Bangkok are in for a treat.

Visitors should expect to get wet as watery celebrations go on all night and throughout much of the day.

Songkran is a much more public, street-based festival than the Chinese New Year, with punters regularly being soaked in scented water.

The first day of the festival, Wan Sungkharn Long, involves sweeping out the house in order to cleanse your home for the coming year.

On the second day, Wan Nao, locals will set about preparing food for the following day’s religious ceremonies, while many go down to the riverbank and make little pagodas from sand and flowers, known as chedis.

The third day, Wan Payawan, starts with early-morning ceremonies in the temples with offerings of food and clothing, while images of the Buddha are washed with scented water.

Customs vary depending on which region of Thailand you visit, but the practice of throwing scented water on passers-by is fairly commonplace.

Written by Alex Cochrane

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