Pattaya details official Songkran celebration plans

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Songkran is just over three weeks away and Pattaya officials again are laying plans for the city’s official water-throwing and rice festivals.

City Manager Wuttipol Charoenpol presided over the March 17 planning meeting for the April 18-19 “Wan Lai” and April 20 “Kong Khao” celebrations with officials from the Tourism Authority of Thailand local agencies.

While people will be throwing water on anything that moves, and some things that don’t, starting as early as April 11, the official, sanctioned splashfest begins in Naklua’s Lan Po Public Park on April 18 at 7 a.m.

Pattaya City Manager Wuttipol Charoenpol presides over a meeting to prepare for the Songkran and Rice festivals.Pattaya City Manager Wuttipol Charoenpol presides over a meeting to prepare for the Songkran and Rice festivals.

There will be music and dance performances from various schools, the giving of alms to 99 monks and the “sprinkling” of water on a statue of Lord Buddha and senior citizens.

The Buddha parade will begin at 10 a.m. moving from the park toward the Numchai Electronics intersection, turning left on Sawang Fa Road, left again by the Pizza Hut and moving to the Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation before returning to the park.

On April 19, Pattaya’s Wan Lai begins at Chaimongkol Temple at 8.30 a.m. with the same light sprinkling of water before the city turns on taps and unleashes a war of water lasting all day long.

Running through the madness will be a Buddha and floral parade at noon from the temple along Second Road, turning onto Central Road and down Beach Road back to the temple.

Beach Road and all connecting sois will be closed to traffic with parking available at Bali Hai Pier, Pattaya School No. 8 and Chaimongkol Temple.

At the Central Road intersection, the Lord Buddha statue will be placed for a water-sprinkling ceremony and there will be sand pagodas adorned with multicolored flags like temple fairs from old times.

Stages will be set up along Beach Road for various activities, such as cultural performances and Thai traditional games.

On April 20, the more-sedate rice ceremony will be held at Lan Po Public Park from noon with many Thai traditional games, such as slingshots, sea boxing and oily pole climbing. The ghost parade starts at 7:30 p.m. and plenty of food and souvenirs will be available.

City officials, as usual, pleaded for courtesy during water fights and laid down the usually ignored edicts against the use of PVC-pipe water cannons, ice cubes, skimpy clothing, excessive powder and alcohol.