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Water Festival

New Year celebration in Southeast Asia / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Water Festival is the New Year's celebrations that take place in Southeast Asian nations such as Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia as well as among the Dai people of China.[1] It is part of the broader South and Southeast Asian solar New Year. It is called the 'Water Festival' by Westerners because they notice people splashing or pouring water at one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the Songkran New Year. Traditionally people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, but as the new year falls during the hottest month in South East Asia, many people end up dousing strangers and passers-by in vehicles in boisterous celebration. The act of pouring water is also a show of blessings and good wishes. It is believed that at this Water Festival, everything old must be thrown away, or it will bring the owner bad luck.[2]

A Rakhine girl pours water at revelers during Myanmar New Year Thingyan Water Festival in Yangon, Myanmar in 2011.

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