A few weeks ago, I told you about the Nowruz holiday celebrating the Iranian New Year. Today is April 13, the first day of the annual Songkran festival that marks the new year in Thailand. It is a favorite time, in part, because it involves splashing one's friends with water in friendly combat and cooling off at the same time during Thailand's hottest month. Water throwing during the Songkran is believed to protect a person against calamity in the coming year; in addition, it traditionally helps to provide adequate rainfall for the forthcoming crops. The first morning of Songkran, April 13, is devoted to giving food to monks, and praying for happiness among other things. In addition, parades are held as is the case of this photo from a 1969
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