APRIL 13 IS THE THAI New Year. And where most New Year’s celebrations involve fire, Thailand opts for water. Celebrants go to Buddhist temples and pour water over the statues of the Buddha as a symbol of purification, and then later pour water over the hands of their elders as a sign of respect. The young people, of course, take it to another level: they have a giant watergun fight.

Nowadays, the emphasis is more on fun and massive water-fights than the festival’s spiritual and religious aspects. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

Nobody escapes getting wet during Songkran, even with a camera in hand. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

Young Thai people hire trucks and tuk-tuks to circle around the moat, loaded with guns and buckets. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

A kid tries to escape the chilly wind by jumping in a bucket full of warm water from the moat. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

People use buckets with strings to draw water directly from the moat. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

Songkran Water Festival, Thailand

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While the party goes on, some prefer to stay dry and watch the festival from afar. Photo by Daniel Nahabedian

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