Songkran Celebrations Resume, Bringing Back Water Fights and Revelry
After three years of subdued festivities due to Covid-19, Thailand’s traditional New Year celebrations, Songkran, returned in full force on Thursday. The event, marked by water fights and enthusiastic splashing, has been a cause for concern among conservative Thais and authorities, as it often features partygoers scantily clad and engaging in wild water battles.
Authorities Enforce Four Strict Rules for Songkran Festivities
With worries that this year’s Songkran celebrations could be particularly rowdy, authorities have implemented four rules to maintain order during the event. The regulations, which apply to both Thais and foreigners, include:
- No nudity
- No going half-naked
- No face-daubing powder
- No high-pressure water guns
Mass Influx of Foreign Tourists Expected for New Year Celebrations
Over 300,000 foreign tourists are predicted to join the throngs of Songkran revelers in Bangkok and other popular tourism destinations. Bangkok has set up 198 areas for New Year festivities, where planned events will showcase traditional Thai New Year customs such as sprinkling water on Buddha statues, alongside parties, live music, and water splashing fun.
Khao San Road Tests Authorities’ Rules in Upcoming Days
Bangkok’s Khao San Road, known for its wild Songkran festivities in the past, is expected to push the four rules to their limits. An estimated 40,000 Thai and foreign participants joined the iconic water fight in the backpackers’ hub on Thursday, marking the first day of Songkran.
Police temporarily restricted entry to the area around 8pm after determining that Khao San Road was in danger of becoming dangerously overcrowded. Local businesses anticipate 30,000 to 40,000 visitors per day, both Thai and foreign, to flood the street during the Songkran holiday. The Khao San Songkran celebrations will continue today and tomorrow, with partygoers eager to let loose after years of Covid-related restrictions.