Songkran, or Thai New Year, is a Buddhist festival and the kingdom’s most important public holiday. The word Songkran is derived from Sanskrit and means "Astrological Passage". Traditionally, the dates for the festival were set by Brahmin priests, but these days the dates are fixed. Songkran marks the end of the dry season – April is Thailand’s hottest month – and the beginning of the annual rains in the fifth month of the Thai lunar year. Many Thais visit their local temple to pray and to wash their Buddha icons.
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