Songkran comes to frantic end in Pattaya

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Pattaya Beach Road filled with tens of thousands of water throwing Songkran frolicking tourists and residents.
Pattaya Beach Road filled with tens of thousands of water throwing Songkran frolicking tourists and residents.

Songkran came to its end in Pattaya with packed streets and a nod to tradition.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh got things started at 7:30 a.m. April 19 at Chaimongkol Temple where a morning meal was offered to monks and certificates presented to honored senior citizens.

The public bathed Buddha statues with holy water and sprinkled water on the elderly’s hands to bless them for the coming Thai New Year. There were also cultural performances, dancing and games including tug of war and oily-post climbing.

Then came the main event – “wan lai” – with extreme water fights across the city.

All main roads into and through Pattaya were clogged with people tossing buckets of water, shooting water guns and throwing powder, despite the prohibitions on it by city hall.

Vendors sold drinks and ice cream as temperatures soared.

At Pattaya Beach, tens of thousands took a break to pour holy water on a Buddha statue for prosperity and watch as the city’s Songkran parade crawled through.

A refreshing spray of cold water on an oppressively hot day.
A refreshing spray of cold water on an oppressively hot day.
Even though city hall advised against it, there were plenty of people smashing white power/clay into people’s faces.
Even though city hall advised against it, there were plenty of people smashing white power/clay into people’s faces.
Military officers joined in on the fun.
Military officers joined in on the fun.
A revered monk blesses Songkran revelers with holy water on Beach Road.
A revered monk blesses Songkran revelers with holy water on Beach Road.
Beauty queens look lovely even under the most trying of conditions.
Beauty queens look lovely even under the most trying of conditions.
Songkran is a lot of fun for the younger generation and kids of all ages.
Songkran is a lot of fun for the younger generation and kids of all ages.
Streets were crowded as the parade passed through in the morning.
Streets were crowded as the parade passed through in the morning.
It can be a lot of fun carrying on Thai culture with Thai traditional dance.
It can be a lot of fun carrying on Thai culture with Thai traditional dance.
Local police were armed with the right kind of weapons to suit the day.
Local police were armed with the right kind of weapons to suit the day.
Even the ocean breezes couldn’t cool down the festival in this heat.
Even the ocean breezes couldn’t cool down the festival in this heat.