Elephants and people play with water during the celebration of Songkran Water Festival in Ayutthaya, Thailand, on April 11, 2019. (Photo: VCG )

Bangkok (VNA) – Tourist destinations in Thailand began their celebrations of the traditional New Year festival Songkran on April 11, two days ahead of the official date.

In the Thai former capital of Ayutthaya, a tourism hotspot renowned for its ancient temple ruins, more than a dozen elephants with hearts and flowers painted on their bodies walked along the streets, splashing and spraying water at locals and foreigners.

The New Year festival – called Songkran in Thailand, Chol Chnam Thmay in Cambodia, Bunpimay in Laos, and Thingyan in Myanmar – is celebrated in April every year, attracting tourists looking to observe native traditional cultures, the festive atmosphere, and popular water-splashing tradition to wash away bad luck and pray for a new good year.

In Thailand, it lasts from April 13 to 15 and is traditionally marked by paying respect to elders and sprinkling water over Buddha statues at local temples. –VNA