Splashing time at Songkran festival

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - Friday the 13th may be a bad omen according to Western superstition but not for the thousands of devotees and revellers in Penang as they took on the annual Songkran (Thai New Year) festival.

Some 1,000 people, consisting mainly Thai and Myanmar nationals, converged at Burma Lane which houses the Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple (Reclining Buddha) and the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist temple to celebrate the festival.

They were drowning the street in an ocean of fun and joy while descending into an all-out water chaos.

The foreign workers were full of enthusiasm when they arrived for the celebrations in buses and company vehicles.

It was a day where one could splash another person with a pail of water and pick on someone smaller than them, only to get away by uttering Sawatdee pi mai (Happy New Year).

Being the highlight of the celebration, the splashing of water signifies the act of cleansing and purifying.

With brightly-coloured toy water guns, pails, plastic bottles, plastic cups, spray cans and hoses lining up their "artillery", no one who crossed their path, be it young or old, was spared from getting soaked.

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