dress code: colorful, flowers, and a touch of traditional
The Water Festival is the New Year's celebrations that take place in Southeast Asian countries such as Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand as well as Yunnan, China. It is called the 'Water Festival' by Westerners because people splash / pour water at one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the New Year. Traditionally people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, but as the New Year falls during the hottest month in South East Asia, many people end up dousing strangers and passersby in vehicles in boisterous celebration. The act of pouring water is also a show of blessings and good wishes. It is believed that on this Water Festival, everything old must be thrown away, or it will bring the owner bad luck.
The third day, the climax of the festival, is reserved for water splashing. On that day, the Dai put on their newest and best clothes, and then assemble at the local Buddhist temple, where the monks chant Buddhist scriptures. Afterward, a symbolic water splashing ritual is enacted whereby a Buddhist statue, with pomp and ceremony, is first coaxed out of the temple to the courtyard, and then splashed with water. This important ritual is called 'Bathing the Buddha'.