As if they weren’t wet enough already from a week of water fights, Pattaya’s residents took to the streets for one last aqua offensive as the area celebrated the finale to Songkran 2017.
Beach Road was shoulder-to-shoulder with dripping-wet warriors April 19 for the official “wan lai” day in Pattaya and Jomtien Beach.
Mayor Anan Charoenchasri thanked organizers and those supporting revelers before taking up arms in the water war with other city administrators.
The morning appeared less frenetic than last year, possibly due to the larger number of traditional and cultural events held in the morning on the urging of authorities. But as the afternoon heat beat down on the city, streets were packed for the so-called “Cool and Wet” celebration.
Local officials, police and volunteers were omnipresent to keep things safe and enforce rules against skimpy clothing, high-pressure water jets and powder, although, judging by the many smeared faces, it was apparent that enforcement of that last item was very lax.
Twenty crimes were reported during the day, mostly by foreigners who were pickpocketed or had waterproof phone bags around their necks snatched.
Jomtien, though, was obviously slower than last year, with both fewer vehicles and party-makers. Most restaurants closed, but a few brave ones opened their doors and stocked up on towels.
Away from the beach, many large temples put on dance shows and street fairs while parades popped up throughout the region featuring Buddhist relics that people could bless and pray to.
The Kophai and Chumsai communities also marked marked the Thai New Year later than the rest of the kingdom, with a traditional Songkran water-sprinkling ceremony.
Soi Kophai President Wirat Joyjinda and his Chumsai counterpart Jirawat Plukjai presided over the April 18 joint celebration which saw nine monks from Chaimongkol Temple receive water and provide blessings before enjoying a morning meal.
The blessing ceremony was followed by merit-making activities as locals and visitors alike offered gift baskets and cash, while others cleaned neighborhood streets and temples to their ancestors.
At the end of the day, elderly residents and senior administrators bestowed blessings on youngsters as per Songkran tradition.
The event was festive, highlighted by short dance shows and more.