Pattaya officials begin Songkran planning

4
846

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.