If you're traveling to Thailand over the next few days to participate in the country's new year's festivities, you might want to grab a squirt gun.
Starting April 13, Thailand's Songkran Festival will kick off five days of wet and wild revelry, with everything from water-spouting elephants to half-a-million tourists descending on the streets to participate in the world's largest water fight. Buckets, water guns, fire hoses, anything that can soak the person next to you is fair game. The purpose behind the playful wet fun is to symbolically wash off the misfortunes from the past year and kick off the new with a fresh start.
Unfortunately, Songkran will take place in the middle of the worst drought in Thailand in more than 21 years. Rainfall averages across the country in 2015 dropped more than 11 percent below normal, with 16 large reservoirs in the nation storing less than 30 percent of total capacity. Last week, the government declared 26 out of 76 provinces as disaster zones due to the drought, according to Australia's Special Broadcasting Service or SBS.
While officials are saying it's near-impossible to curtail the use of water, they are urging participants to limit the waste. "Parents should teach their children to use less water and not splash it around for three days and three nights," Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told the Associated Press.
In Bangkok, city officials are taking steps to address water conservation concerns, shuttering traditionally free water distribution centers and ending daily festivities early at 9 p.m. They're also encouraging people to use spray bottles over buckets or water guns. According to Reuters, even the elephants have been "trained to suck up less water and aim more carefully."
Check out some additional scenes of past Songkran Festivals below.