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Thai government ditches water fights for Songkran – back to basics for 2021



So we’re going to have Songkran this year but not as we know it. The CCSA and Public Health Ministry have formally taken the ‘song’ out of Songkran for 2021. They have determined that there won’t be any foam parties, no activities where you get together with all your friends for Songkran activities and no ‘water splashing’, a polite way of saying no water fights, throwing or water pistol battles. The government is promoting traditional Songkran celebrations for 2021 and hoping Thais will head home for a drier celebration than usual and avoid the big water battles that have become the norm over the past few decades.

In 2020 Songkran was put on hold as Thailand was right in the middle of its first series of lockdowns and restrictions in reaction to the Covid pandemic. In last year’s case it was just a total cancellation of Songkran, the Thai new year celebrations. Even most of the cross-provincial travel, as Thais head back home for the April 13 family celebration, was cancelled.

But the CCSA has allowed some Songkran activities. You will still be able to pour water over Buddha and Buddhist statues, enjoy the tradition of gently pouring water on elders in your family and Thai will be able to travel across all provincial borders this year. So less SuperSoakers and more gentle splashing.

But it’s clear the Thai government is wanting to avoid any ‘moist’ skirmishes where families and friends get together for smaller and larger water fights. There would be pick-up trucks filled with barrels of iced water and driven around neighbourhoods drenching their friends and passersby. In the tourist areas like Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai, there were much larger organised activities and the annual celebration of water was becoming somewhat of a tourist mecca for backpackers looking to party, armed with water pistols, eye shields and a pair of sandals.

The ‘back to basics’ Songkran 2021 will be a big disappointment for many people, and another kick in the pants for places like Pattaya and Phuket that would have promoted larger Songkran events, but it may promote a resurgence of the older, and gentler traditions of Songkran. And there will be some expats who will definitely enjoy walking down the streets, or riding their motorbike, on April 13 without having a bucket of cold water thrown at them.


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  1. Glenn

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 11:10 am

    ah so. Thai wisdom at it’s best. or is it the CCSA and those in love with the emergency decree using CV as an excuse to change Songkran festival from what people loved to do – have a big water fight – to something far lesser)

    Please show me the medical clinical evidence of how gently splashing a small bit of water on an ‘elder’ is less apt to transmit CV than squirting someone with a water gun. How about the clinical evidence that talcum powdering playful young people is medically dangerous while doing same gently to your grand-mom is proven medically different.

    The hypocrisy, lies, and overt control over the public is obvious, and it’s upsetting. Perhaps the CCSA and the rest of them are taking a few pages from the North Korean govt play-book.

  2. J West

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    The last memory of Songkran most of us will remember is of the Yank giving a naked drunken hooker who was legs splayed unconscious across a table while he did a motorboat by way of a full tongue wagging and face in blown away act of public cunnilingus at the Pattaya party a couple years ago. I think that’s the day the party died. That….was a Songkran for the history books.

  3. Issan John

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Be realistic, Glenn, and show some common sense if that’s possible.

    The danger isn’t from “squirting someone with a water gun” or “talcum powdering playful young people”. It’s from the crowds at close quarters, shouting and laughing in each others’ faces.

    Whether you enjoy the Songkran “festivities” or not, nobody with a working brain cell needs “medical clinical evidence” to see that it’s the ideal super-spreader event for any virus.

  4. toby andrews

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Just put the price of water up tens times for the month of Songkran.
    That will cure the hysterical idiots.
    On second thoughts it will not work, the hysterical idiots will just pick up the water from the sea.

  5. Issan John

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    I doubt most, if any, of the tourist orientated businesses in “the tourist areas like Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai” will be remotely upset about missing out on the “festivities” and far from being “another kick in the pants for places like Pattaya and Phuket” most of the business owners couldn’t care less.

    For most bars, restaurants and hotels it brings in minimal revenue and drives as many customers away as it attracts, as most of the staff head for home and the “revellers”, whether Thais or begpackers, spend next to nothing apart from buying beer at 7-11 or Big ‘C’, driving customers away from bars and restaurants.

    Fair enough, it’s usually a chance for some people, Thai or tourist, to “party” but the one thing it’s NOT is any source of boost to the economy.

  6. David Mann

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Sort of lost for words to be honest Glenn. Your general point isn’t lost on me, but think what you are saying here. Of course there is a risk when a son or daughter pour water on their grandmother. But do you honestly think that is the same as a few thousand people crammed in to roads like Khaosan is the same level of risk. It’s all about risk management. Going in to 7/11 to buy something has a level of Covid transmission, but it lower than going to a packed music festival. People are just not getting it at all. It’s why this thing has been running riot for over a year. It’s the same argument I hear as to why do we have restrictions when only 86 people have died. It’s because we have restrictions that only 86 have died. Without restrictions tens or hundreds of thousands would have died

  7. Bill

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    covid spreads in water as well. fact. COVID!!!!!

  8. Yan

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Dreaming of a Wonderful and respectful Songkran…as in the ancient days. NO drunken idiots splashing dirty ice water and powder in other ones eyes…NO MORE accidents, Thailand is the number 1 already….Respect…mindfulness…

  9. Issan John

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    “The last memory of Songkran most of us will remember…”

    “Most of us”???

    I doubt the Thaiger has quite that few readers …

  10. William

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Florida never did lockdowns or mandatory masks and they have lower covid deaths than the rest of usa. How is this not included in the “science”

    1 year of wearing a mask will weaken your immune system. It’s important to always be contracting bacteria and viruses. This is why prisoners have such good immune systems.

    Masks long term will hurt more than they help.

    Eventually we all die. Some sooner than others.

    If your safety plan is expecting others to follow the rules perfectly, your gonna need a better plan. You can moan and complain but this isn’t going to change all of human behavior.

    If you are scared of dying from covid, the only thing you can do that will have a high degree of certainty is stay inside and grow your own food and avoid all contact with out side world.

    Anything less than that, you should just live your life.

    Covid is supposedly responsible for 70 deaths in 12 months, with a few supposed mass out breaks and 70 deaths is the best covid could do to thai ppl?

    Your gonna have to try harder to scare me. I’m still waiting for people dropping dead on the streets like we saw in the early videos of this hoax.

  11. Issan John

    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Florida never did lockdowns or mandatory masks and they have lower covid deaths than the rest of usa. How is this not included in the “science” ”

    It’s not “included in the “science” “, William, because it’s rubbish.

    Florida has over 32,700 deaths from Covid and some 2 millon cases – not “lower than the rest of usa” but the third highest number of deaths behind California and Texas.

    If you want to compare Florida to Thailand, Florida has a third of the population with 400 times as many deaths, so a death rate over a thousand times worse.

  12. Truth Justice

    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Re the COVID death rates tallied in the US, most people aren’t aware the CDC created a secondary ICD cause-of-death code to include in the COVID death tolls any deaths where the virus was detected, but not the cause of death. Hence, a man killed in a car accident or gunshots would be counted as a COVID fatality if he was carrying the virus. A person dying of the virus is coded differently, but the numbers presented to the public include BOTH.

    The truth is, COVID-19 is about as fatal as influenza and the entire world has been the victim of a huge shakedown by the powers-that-were group of organized, rich fools plaguing humankind by their demented quest for absolute control. It stops now. You read this, you learn truth, you spread it; that’s the only way to stop this madness.

  13. Issan John

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 1:15 am

    “most people aren’t aware the CDC created a secondary ICD cause-of-death code to include in the COVID death tolls any deaths where the virus was detected, but not the cause of death.”

    Most people aren’t “aware” of it because it’s 100% NOT TRUE, TJ.

    The code exists, as do similar elsewhere, but they’re excluded from Covid death tolls not included.

    The rule is that if someone dies more than 28 days after testing positive for Covid 19 they can’t be listed as only dying from Covid-19 – ONLY if they die within 28 days.

    That DOESN’T mean that they’re automatically listed as dying from Covid 19 if they die within 28 days – only that they CAN be, not that they are.

    Nothing to do with the “organized rich fools” running the world worshipping Satan and eating any babies left over after the pedophile parties … ?

  14. J West

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 10:48 am

    No sloppy drunk 70 year old farangs stumbling around with squirt guns or under washed lickspittle “ twat packers” acting stupid. What an embarrassment to our community. No naked gays grinding in full view of children. How is that a bad thing? Give me a break people, no one in the majority misses the degraded idiocy of what Foreigner-Songkran had become. ‘The Great Reset’ is well underway….

  15. Craig

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    It will be nice to have a traditional Songkran. After so many years of avoiding it, I won’t have to be concerned about being doused with healthy moat water here in CM…hopefully.

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