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One of the most important festivals in the country, Songkran is a celebration of the traditional Thai New Year. During the day, locals visit temples, offer delicious home cooked meals to Buddhist monks and pour water on small Buddha statues, a symbolic gesture representing the cleansing and absolution of one’s sins. Known for its water festival, this holiday is especially cherished by young people as they splash water on each other with buckets, water filled balloons and water guns. Most major streets in Thailand are closed to traffic to allow numerous young people to use them safely as arenas for water fights. The festival also involves lavish traditional parades with intricately decorated floats, dancers in colourful clothing and a spectacular fireworks display, which the locals believe fends off misfortune.

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