Songkran Festival – or the traditional Thai New Year celebrations – is an annual highlight throughout Thailand, for local Thais, expats and even tourists, who like to piggy back onto the festivities.
The most visible part of Songkran is undoubtedly the water festival, whereby the major streets of Thailand are covered in people, from young to old, splashing each other, pedestrians and cars with water from water guns, buckets and occasionally even hoses.
Songkran 2016 will be celebrated from April 13 to 17, but the severe drought that Thailand is currently facing has forced Bangkok officials to reduce the size of the water festival.
The major Bangkok water fights are typically found on the Khao San Road and in Silom, but you can expect revellers joining in throughout Sukhumvit and the Pratunam areas too.
City Hall has put a curfew on water-splashing, limiting it from just April 12 to 14, and demanding that all water splashing cease after 9pm, reports The Bangkok Post.
A joint meeting held recently between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, local business owners, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Tourism Police Division, agreed the curfews, with business owners in Silom and the CentralWorld shopping centre agreeing not to provide water to revellers during the festivities.
On Khao San Road, a campaign will be launched in order to better educate tourists on the need to not waste water.
Water consumption typically triples during the Songkran festivities so it’s imperative that restraint is practiced during the drought.
Chiang Mai: No X-Ray Pants Or ‘Sexy Muscles’
Up north, Chiang Mai officials are more concerned with putting a stop to the apparent sexualisation of Songkran and to help protect the image of Lanna culture instead.
According to Coconuts, see-through X-ray pants (…) have been banned from Songkran, along with any other clothing that could be construed as suggestive when soaked through.
“What concerns me is online shops have started selling these X-ray pants on social networks. If people wear these pants alone without underwear, it will be considered public obscenity,” said Pawin Chamniprasart, governor of Chiang Mai.
He’d be right.
Also banned are “sexy dance moves” and “sexy muscles”.
@KrisKoles @JohnP1752 @CoconutsBangkok ‘sexy dancing and sexy muscles’? Am I in Footloose?
— Laura Takenaka (@TakenakaLaura) March 15, 2016
“There were about 22 party stages around the city of Chiang Mai last year,” Pawin said. “On some stages, there were people dancing sexually and men showing off their chests and biceps. It was such an inappropriate image.”
Looks like all the Chiang Mai bros will need to stop lifting and get on a Krispy Kreme sponsored diet in order to pass muster.
Featured image is by JJ Harrison and used under a Creative Commons licence