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If you happen to be in Thailand today, don’t bother taking a shower: You’ll get soaked anyway.
The celebration, traditionally a time of purification, retains some of its Buddhist beginnings. Many Thais return home for the holiday and observe water-cleansing rituals.
But the symbolic purification has exploded into a countrywide party. People play with water guns and dump buckets of water from the beds of pickup trucks. Some even bring out the fire hoses.
“Are you kidding me?” said Krit Pongchaiassawin. “I would just get laughed off the street.”
Some Thai traditionalists are worried that the festivities have strayed too far from their origins. This year a government official warned merry makers not to “wear revealing clothes” or dance suggestively. Such transgressions will result in a fine of about $145.
Evan Gershkovich contributed reporting.
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