Despite the recent political upheavals in the Thai capital of Bangkok, thousands of people turned out to take part in the festival marking the Buddhist New Year.
SV FLOATS FOLLOWED BY BANKS AND DANCING PEOPLE THROUGH THE STREETS OF BANGKOK (4 SHOTS)
SV BEAUTY QUEENS ON FLOAT
SV WOMEN IN TRADITIONAL DRESS TAKING PART IN PARADE
SV MEN AND WOMEN DANCING IN PROCESSION THROUGH STREETS
SV WOMEN IN PROCESSION THROWING FLOWER PETALS INTO CROWD
SV FLOATS IN PROCESSION
SV CHILDREN AND YOUTHS THROWING WATER AND PASTE OVER EACH OTHER (3 SHOTS)
SV WOMEN ADORNING ALTAR OF BUDDHA
PEOPLE PRAYING AND LIGHTING JOSS STICKS ON BUDDHA ALTAR
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Background: Despite the recent political upheavals in the Thai capital of Bangkok, thousands of people turned out to take part in the festival marking the Buddhist New Year.
Although the Thai Government officially adopted the Western calender in 1941, the Thai people still celebrate the traditional Thai New Year which usually falls between 12 April and the 15 April.
This year a huge parade was officially organised which wound its way through the streets of the capital.
The Thai Deputy Governor for Public Health, Dr. Opass Thammavanich, said the festival was the biggest ever and was designed for what he termed "the relief of public tensions and stresses which modern living imposes on people."
Dr. Opass even publicly decreed that the age old custom of dousing friends and foes alike with water and past was permitted in this year's festival.
However, the Deputy Governor's statement contradicted the Police Department which issued a stern warning against water throwing and informed Bangkok residents that their festivities should be confined to adorning altars of the Buddha. However, despite the apparent clash of interests no trouble was reported in the Thai capital throughout the festivities.