Thailand’s Culture Minister says that, while this year’s Songkran holiday will go ahead, activities such as water splashing, foam parties, and the daubing of powder paste are likely to be banned. Itthiphol Kunplome adds that the Bangkok Metropolitan Association may decide to close Khao San Road, normally a water fight epicentre.
The Bangkok Post reports that this year, the Thai New Year holiday can only be marked with traditional customs, such as the pouring of water over Buddha statues, paying respects to the elderly, giving food to monks, and other merit-making activities.
He says proposals for this year’s celebrations will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration tomorrow. Water fights and applying paste to fellow revellers are unlikely to feature in this year’s festivities. It’s thought that a new cluster of infections in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district is behind the ban on more close-contact traditions.
Itthiphol says organisers of parades are advised to exercise caution with attendance numbers and says businesses will be banned from holding water splashing events or foam parties on their premises. He adds that all shops and other businesses will be required to adhere to ongoing disease prevention measures.
This year’s Songkran period will run for 5 days, from April 10 to 15, with the government hoping the longer holiday will encourage more domestic travel. The tourism sector has been almost entirely reliant on domestic tourists since pandemic restrictions were introduced a year ago.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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