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Songkran (Thai สงกรานต์) is Thailand's biggest party of the year celebrating Thai new year. Mid April is the hottest time of the year. In the past, people would throw water among themselves in nice way to bless each other.
In recent years, all out water fights have erupted in many tourist areas. The government has sought to tone things down a bit, but it's still a big party, just a little drier. Chiang Mai remains one of the most popular places to be, but it doesn't really matter where you are. There is always a good chance that you will have water thrown at you when you venture outside during the festival.
There is a rule for this: You have the right not to get wet, when people splash water at you during these days.
Some people also go to wats (Buddhist monastery) to go praying and also to give food to monks.
Although Songkran might be most famous in Thailand, there are many other countries that have festivities during this time of year, which basically is devoted to the start of the sun's journey in northern directions. Countries where they celebrate this time include Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and China (Yunnan) and several other (south and southeast) Asian people like Punjabi and Tamil have celebrations.
April 13th to April 15th every year.
It used to be calculated based on astrology but now the dates are the same every year. It's a national holiday and if Songkran coincides with weekends, people take extra days afterwards. If it's during the week, most of the business dy out as people generally take the whole week of.
It used to be the beginning of the actual year, but nowadays like many other places the 1st of January is the beginning of the year as well.
More about the History of Songkran.
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