Ushering in new year

Festive time

“Songkran”, as the festival is called in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, is celebrated from April 13-17 every year.

People pay respect to elders and seek their blessings in the morning before going out armed with plastic water guns and buckets for water-splashing celebrations. While Holi revellers use coloured powder, Thais and Myanmarese and the others use talcum powder mixed with water.

In Bangkok, thousands of Thais thronged the sprawling Central World Shopping Plaza on Wednesday to take part in water-splashing celebrations.

About 3,471 participants participated in the Guinness World Record Songkran Festival 2011 and fired water pistols at each other non-stop for ten minutes. The gathering was larger than the record held by Spain for the world’s largest water pistol fight. In September 2007, in Spain, 2,671 participants set the record for the largest water pistol fight which lasted five minutes.

In Malaysia, ethnic Indians on Thursday visited temples and shrines to offer prayers while more than 15,000 people are expected to gather at the Mines Convention Centre here to on Friday to celebrate the New Year along with members of other multi-ethnic races, Star newspaper said.

The event will see a gathering of more than 15,000 people from the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalee and Sikh community, the daily said adding that Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor will also join in the celebrations.

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