It’s official: water fights during Songkran have been forbidden during Songkran with Thai New Year celebrants only able to attend traditional and religious services.
Deputy Mayor Banlue Kullavanijaya chaired a March 19 meeting with city and school officials and cultural associations to discuss a revamped “wan lai” finale to Pattaya’s Songkran festival.
Wan lai, of course, is meant to be a massive water-throwing party and Pattaya officials, desperate to revive domestic tourism, had excitedly announced it would return April 19 after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Then came the ultra-conservative Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration which responded to a small cluster of new Covid-19 cases in a Bangkok district by banning water throwing and powders smearing nationwide.
With water off the menu, the only events left for Songkran are services organized by the Education, Religious and Culture Promotion for Education Office at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua on April 18 and Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya on April 19.
Both events will feature chanting monks, alms offerings and pouring water on Buddha statues. Leave the water guns at home.