Religious devotees begin Thai new year with parade of Buddhist relics

Religious devotees began the Songkran Thai new year with a parade of nine Buddhist relics.

Worshippers congregated at the Sanctuary Of Truth, a large and ornate wooden temple, where the relics from the ancient Busabok Stupa have been perched on a high shelf since the Supreme Patriarch placed them there in 2009.

Footage shows them being transferred onto floats decorated with flowers and carried to six stops in Banglamung District of Pattaya, eastern Thailand.

The parade sees residents and tourists pour holy water on the relics as the country begins its Songkran Day, a three-day annual holiday which sees mass water fights in villages and cities across the land.

Devotees wish for good luck in the year ahead while sprinkling water on the relics.

The Songkran tradition began hundreds of years ago with natives sprinkling their respected elders other with water for good luck as they welcomed in the coming rainy season and prayed for success and fortune in the coming years.

But in recent years it has developed into a commercialised tourist attraction where many holidaymakers and backpackers converge on major tourist attractions for water battle free-for-alls.