TRAVEL
11/26/2013 09:04 am ET Updated Nov 26, 2013
PRESENTED BY SONY

The 8 Most Incredible Water Festivals You Need To Attend

Traveling around the world can lead you to engage in new, and often incredible, experiences. Sometimes that just means taking part in a new culture, while at other times it means celebrating your own.

One common thread throughout all societies is the importance of our life source: water. Whether it is to cool off after a hot day, bathe yourself in preparation of prayer, quench your thirst or just to have fun, water plays a major role in some of the most significant experiences throughout history.

You can be a part of these life-changing celebrations. Take a look at these 8 incredible festivals around the world that celebrate and engage in the joy of water, brought to you by our friends at Sony. Don't forget to bring along the new water resistant Sony® Xperia® Tablet Z for all your hydro-fun photos!

  • 1 Songkran
    WikiMedia:
    This New Year's event is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand, which says quite a lot. Observed in mid-April, Songkran originally stemmed from a Hindu celebration. Now it is considered to be an enormous water fight party, cooling people off during Thailand's hottest time of the year.
  • 2 Seattle Water Balloon Fight
    YouTube/ Party Camp
    This past summer, Seattle Party Camp launched an event called, appropriately, "The World's Largest Water Fight." The all-day festival was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for water fights while raising money for charity. Although they fell short of the world record, more than $55,000 was fundraised for Camp Korey, a recreational organization for kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
  • 3 Thingyan
    AP
    Although Thingyan is also a mid-April New Year's celebration, this water festival has very different traditions than Songkran. Thingyan stems from Buddhist tradition, and still holds a significant amount of cultural significance in Myanmar. Between throwing buckets of water onto anyone in their path, villagers also take this time to focus on doing good deeds for one another.
  • 4 Dai Water Splashing Festival
    Getty Images
    This festival is very important for the Dai ethnic minority of China. Similar to Songkran, the Dai Water Splashing Festival is three days long. On the first day, villagers shop at a special outdoor marketplace. On the second day, they float lanterns down the Lancang River, which is said to ward off bad spirits. The climax of the festival is on the third day, when participants dress up in their finest clothes, gather at a Buddhist temple and engage in a deliberate water-splashing ritual.
  • 5 Fiesta del Agua y del Jamon
    Also known as the "Water and Ham Festival, Fiesta del Agua y del Jamon is a celebration of San Juan Batista, known in English as John the Baptist. Once the clock strikes midnight on June 23rd, a crazy water fight commences. After everyone is watered-out, the town parties with beer and fireworks.
  • 6 Chaul Chnam Thmey
    Also known as the Cambodian New Year, Chaul Chnam Thmey shares similar elements with Songkran and Thingyan. However, this festival is more focused on spiritual cleansing and good deeds, with crafts, music and dance performances integral to the holiday. Participants bathe themselves with holy water, and sprinkle perfumed water on monks and statues of Buddha.
  • 7 Vardavar
    WikiMedia:
    Celebrated in Armenia, Vardavar is a water festival derived from both Christian and pagan roots. According to tradition, the pagan goddess Astghik would spread love and rosewater around the country while the God Vahagn would protect the people. Similar to other water festivals, Armenians go onto the streets and spray one another with water during Vardavar. However, they also have a tradition of releasing pigeons or doves into the air.
  • 8 New York City Water Fight
    YouTube/crazyhyperboy
    The good people at NYC4nerds.com knew that the Big Apple deserved a big water fight. On June 29th, 2013, the group organized a monstrous water fight on the Great Lawn in Central Park, attracting thousands of participants and the media's intrigued eye.

CONVERSATIONS