Pattaya officials begin Songkran planning

Friday, 01 March 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 9 By  Vittaya Yoondorn

Songkran still may be two months away, but Pattaya officials already are making plans to bring at least some sanity to Thai New Year bedlam.

Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon presided over a Feb. 13 meeting to detail official plans for the April 18-20 water festival. He said this year’s Songkran event will be larger than in past years, focusing on a mix of Thai tradition and contemporary culture.

Activities begin April 18 with the Naklua “wan lai” water-throwing festival. Alms will be offered to 99 monks at Lan Po Park at 7 a.m. and a Buddha parade will proceed around Naklua Market beginning at 10 a.m. The elderly will receive gentle water blessings before crowds begin to throw wet stuff on anyone and everyone.

Pattaya officials, led by Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon (center), begin planning for this year’s Songkran festivities.Pattaya officials, led by Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon (center), begin planning for this year’s Songkran festivities.

Pattaya takes its turn April 19, starting with religious ceremonies and alms giving at Chaimongkol Temple at 8:30 a.m. The city’s Buddha parade will attempt to roll up Beach Road to the Dolphin Roundabout and back to Chaimongkol at noon.

Pattaya officials plan to station fire trucks, portable toilets and other facilities along Beach Road, which will be closed to normal traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The annual rice festival closes out Songkran week April 20 in Naklua, with ceremonies and a ghost parade beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Apparently not yet blue in the face, Wattana again repeated the plea ignored annually to Songkran revelers to refrain from drinking alcohol, not throw powder, not shoot water from PVC cannons and to dress modestly.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 06 March 2013 00:30 posted by Scottish George

    Until they limit it to 1 or 2 days of madness I along with many others will make sure I am in another country for Songkran.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 03 March 2013 15:31 posted by Prakhonchai Nick

    I am off to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) over Songkran. It is Cambodian New Year too, and ther have water throwing, but it is strctly forbidden in tourist areas. So it should be in Pattaya and other tourist areas.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 02 March 2013 22:00 posted by Sean Murphy

    In my Villiage I expect the young people will have their Water Fights.Myself I will be Treated with
    Respect befitting my age.
    I will be aproached by someone with a Bowl of Powder and Dab some on my Face then sprinkle some Water on me.
    Farangs in Pattaya have no idea what Songkran is all about and behave like it is their right to run around like DislectiChildren. .Sean

  • Comment Link Saturday, 02 March 2013 10:45 posted by Dill Pickles

    Having been here for many Songkran holidays the best planning will have no effect on the behavior of farangs. I fully expect it to be another 10 days of madness. One solution which might help would be posting signs or handing out flyer's to bars outlining holiday etiquette. Not dousing people on their way to or from work, people who are clearly not engaged in the water throwing, & people who are injured or handicapped. Having seen how it is celebrated all over Thailand it's just shameful that during this period here you cannot even go out to dinner & expect to arrive there or home as you left it.

    Until something serious is done there will be more road accidents, incidents of violence, crime, & deaths to both Thais & farangs. Change happens slow in Pattaya, regardless of the law, I don't expect the celebrating of Songkran to change in my lifetime. We will do as before either plan to stay home, or leave town.

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