Google made a splash on Friday with its latest Doodle celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year festival traditionally marked with water-dousing events.
Songkran is known worldwide for epic water fights that shut down major streets across the country and attracts young celebrants and visitors from around the world. Splashing others with water confers blessing and represents cleansing and a fresh start — and coming at the hottest time of the year, it’s also a welcome respite from the scorching tropical heat.
The three-day-long holiday isn’t just fun and games. Thais also mark the occasion by visiting local Buddhist temples and making offering of food to monks. Worshippers pour water over Buddha statues to symbolize purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck.
The date is also is also marked by similar festivities in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and parts of southwest China’s Yunnan province.