Tourists buy water guns and floral shirts for Thailand's Songkran new year festival

Tourists are seen buying floral shirts and water guns ahead of Thailand's Songkran new year celebrations which begin today.

Thailand celebrates Songkran, its traditional new year, from April 13 to 15, during which locals and revellers from around world visit to splash water on each other under the scorching sun.

The traditional custom is for millions of residents to wear brightly coloured floral shirts.

Tourists and holidaymakers were seen buying the garments on the popular Silom Road area of the city. There were also plenty of Super Soaker style water pistols on sale.

The annual sees the country closed until businesses re-open on April 17 and attracts tourists from around the world who take part in mass water fights. It 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.

But in recent years it has developed into a major tourist attraction where mass water fights in the country's major cities attract many holidaymakers and backpackers.