Today is the first day of the Thai Songkran or water festival and Chiang Mai has been busy preparing for several days. The Songkran festival marks the traditional Thai new year and falls between April 13-15. The celebrations tend to start early, however!
Traditionally, the Thai new year is a time to make merit and visit the temple where fragranced water is poured over Buddha statues. It is believed that this will bring prosperity and good luck for the new year. Outside the temple and in the rest of the city, however, people celebrate by engaging in a huge water fight that lasts for five days! In this respect, Chiang Mai is known as the best place to be to celebrate! At the moment, it is also a good place to be selling plastic buckets and water guns - I have armed myself with my personal favourite, the Hello Kitty bucket! :)
Happy Songkran to you all!