Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many faiths as it often symbolizes devotion and purification. For Hindus, bathing in the Ganges River is a means to cleanse the soul. Before Muslims pray at the Mosque, they clean themselves with water. Jews ritualistically wash their hands before meals. Christians pour water over the head during the initiation rite of Baptism. And in Buddhism, water is blessed by monks during weddings and other festivities. In the coming week, water will play a huge role in Thailand's Songkran Festival, the celebration of Thai New Year. Traditionally, water is poured over statues of the Buddha, and these days many Thais and some foreigners in this country go crazy running around splashing and spraying each other with buckets of water, water hoses, and squirt guns.