Inside world’s biggest water pistol fight as thousands of revellers get soaked to cool off in 37C Thai heat

THIS is the world’s biggest water pistol fight – where millions of people across Thailand are cooling off by getting splashed.

Residents have been celebrating Songkran, Thai New Year’s national holiday, by spraying each other with icy water.

ReutersMillions of people in Thailand are celebrating Songkran, the Thai New year[/caption]

GettyThis is the world’s biggest water pistol fight[/caption]

ReutersResidents and tourists take to the streets to spray each other with cold water[/caption]

GettyIt is believed that the water purifies individuals and cleanses them of sin[/caption]

Photo’s of the iconic water gun fight show people decked in vibrant bikinis and swimming costumes while being drenched by other festical-goers.

With plastic guns in hand, locals can be seen soaked in the streets of Thailand as they celebrate their New Year.

“It’s already blown out our expectations, it’s so much fun,” said drenched Californian Parker Core, 24, who booked a last-minute trip from Malaysia.

“We have nothing like it in America,” he said.

Further along the road, lined with tubs offering refills, Julia Grinina laughed as her nine and eight-year-old children tore through the crowds, each armed with water guns.

“We came here to get sprayed, we knew what we were coming for,” said the 34-year-old from Kazakhstan, who now lives in Pattaya.

Songkran is on April 9 every year, but the holiday period extends until April 16 as the mass water fights become a daily activity.

According to Thai beliefs, the splashing and squirting of water from the toy guns is used to drive away bad luck, sin and symbolises purification.

People usually sprinkle water on the hands of elders to mark the new year but the festivities have evolved into mega water fights that attract tourists from across the globe.

Due to the pandemic, the water fights were not able to go ahead for the past three years – so residents are going wild as the tradition has been restored.

Thai reveller Phoranee Sukjee, 29, said she was hopeful the revival of the festival would boost the country’s economy, which was left battered by the pandemic.

“Though some places in Bangkok are still quiet, things would definitely get better,” she said.

It is hoped that the festivities which are currently taking place during the country’s hottest month will boost the tourism sector as they bounce back from Covid.

GettyStores often leave buckets of water outside so people can refill their pistols[/caption]

GettyMany say this is an exciting way to cool off under the blazing sun during Thailand’s hottest month[/caption]

GettyPeople are urged not to drive through the streets during the festivities as the roads are left covered in water[/caption]

GettyThe water fights were unable to go ahead for the past three years due to the pandemic[/caption]

GettyThe streets of Thailand can be seen filled with vibrant colours, plastic pistols and drenched people[/caption]

“I’m glad the authorities have allowed us to splash water like we used to,” said orange vendor Wattana Kunpang.

“They allowed us to splash water, drink, eat, and they also relaxed the regulations so I think foreign tourists would enjoy this,” the 46-year-old added.

The celebrations are expected to bring in a £2.7billion economic bonanza, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Bangkok’s Si Lom road is one of the most popular destinations for the water wars.

Street sellers provide tourists and residents with colourful water pistols while the local stores put out buckets of cold water as refills for the crowds.

Around 200 official locations across the nation are holding celebrations for Songkran and in the Gulf of Thailand, island-wide water fights are currently dominating the streets.

In Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, hundreds have rushed to enjoy the celebrations that last just one day there due to the limited water supplies.

But the water fights are unstoppable as festival-goers celebrate the renewal of the year and the welcoming of warmer months with enthusiasm.

As the temperatures starts to rise to around 37 degrees, the water fights become a refreshing and exciting way for residents and tourists to cool off and connect with each other.

However, tourists are warned to leave valuables such as phones and cameras at home due to the high risk of water damage.

But luckily, dry bags and plastic phone covers are not in short supply during the celebrations – even the local stores cover their cashiers with plastic.

Locals are also urged to avoid driving through the streets as the unpredictable streams of water cover the roads.

AFPWater pistols, hose pipes and smiles were in abundance on the streets of Bangkok[/caption]

EPAThe ever-chaotic megalopolis saw a huge water fight take place at close to 200 official sites[/caption]

EPAMany were hopeful the revival of the festival would boost the country’s economy, which was battered by the pandemic[/caption]

GettySongkran is a centuries-old festival that marks the beginning of the traditional Thai solar calendar[/caption]

ReutersThe most iconic aspect of Songkran is the water splashing, symbolizing purification and the washing away of sins and bad luck[/caption]

ReutersPeople celebrate Songkran with great enthusiasm as it signifies renewal and the welcoming of warmer months[/caption]