The Biggest Water Gun Fight In The World Is Happening Right Now In Southeast Asia

April 17, 2014

Via Allison Jackson / GlobalPost.com

Millions of people across Southeast Asia this week have been engaged in raucous street battles, celebrating the New Year by splashing, spraying and dousing water on friends, family and strangers.

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Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The three-day water festival has several names, depending on the country. In Thailand and Myanmar, where the water fights are particularly epic, the celebration is called Songkran and Thingyan respectively. What these photos don't show you is how hot it is. So the whole getting doused in water thing is pretty refreshing.

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Credit: Getty Images

The water festival actually has its roots in Buddhism. It symbolizes cleansing. Splashing water on someone is a way of showing respect and is supposed to bring good fortune.

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Credit: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

"Originally one would go to temples and pour fragranced water on Buddha images to cleanse them, or you would go to visit your elder relatives and pour water on their hands to ask for their blessings, and it was quite an elegant religious ceremony," Dr Thak Chaloemtiarana at Cornell University told CNN.

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Credit: Taylor Weidman/Getty Images

Well, times have changed...

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Credit: Getty Images

Via Allison Jackson / GlobalPost.com

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