The party rages on in Pattaya after Songkran comes to a halt

Pattaya party rages on, photo by Nation Thailand.

Thailand’s notorious nightlife wonderland of Pattaya is still in party mode even though Songkran is over.

The city’s three-day afterparty kicked off on Tuesday, with revellers enjoying the water fights and festivities in the sweltering heat. Yesterday, the Wan Lai or Flowing Day celebration took place, with crowds flocking to the beachfront and Wat Chai Mongkol armed with water guns and barrels to splash each other cool. Live music and street vendors selling food, drinks, and water weapons added to the festive atmosphere. The party will continue through today, Thursday, Nation Thailand reported.

More than 100,000 people were expected to take part in the Wan Lai festival this year after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The celebrations, which take place mostly in the eastern seaboard provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong, and Samut Prakan, focus on traditional Songkran activities such as giving alms to monks, building sand sculptures at temples or on the beach, and playing traditional games.

Wan Lai originated from a ceremony called Ko Phra Sai Nam Lai or making sculptures with water-swept sand. In the tradition, seaside communities used sand from beaches and waterways to make sand mounds and carry them into temples. The ceremony is symbolic of sand or soil that worshippers unwittingly remove from temple grounds on their feet over the year, and it also provided an excuse to clear silted-up waterways.

Despite the festivities, Pattaya officials have not overlooked safety concerns. More than 800 police officers, soldiers, municipal officers, and medical staff were deployed yesterday to ensure the safety of the event.

In some provinces, Wan Lai celebrations are causing major issues with garbage.

Yesterday, it was reported that garbage left from a Wan Lai celebration was plaguing the roads around one Chon Buri beach. Chon Buri held its Wan Lai or day that flows festivities on Sunday and Monday at the beach in the main city district. Activities included paying respect to Buddha deities, building sand mounds, and playing traditional games. The additional celebrations drew thousands of tourists to the area, leaving the roads filled with garbage.

The Saen Suk Municipality announced that it would hold a big clean this week to tidy up all roads in the Saen Suk area, and invited locals to join in. So far, students from Burapha University, local vendors, and municipal officials have signed up to help.

Pattaya NewsSongkran News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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