The traditional rites of Songkran involve dousing everyone around you in water as a symbol of cleansing and purification at the start of the Thai New Year. Songkran is celebrated nation-wide around Thailand with great gusto, and equally enthusiastically in the capital city, Bangkok. The fun-filled festival is held for about three days, centred on wats and temples where images of Buddha are bathed and the elderly in the community symbolically washed by the youngsters. After the ceremonials, most people take to the baking hot streets for a merry, wet free-for-all. In Bangkok the best places to experience the festivities are on the square in front of the Grand Palace where the Phra Buddha Sihing is bathed; the Wisutkasat, where a Miss Songkran Beauty pageant is held; and Khao San Road in Banglampoo where jovial water-throwing reaches new heights in battles between locals and tourists.
Added by reck on September 19, 2005