Hong Kong Songkran festival celebrations relocated

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The water-splashing festivities of Thailand’s Songkran festival, hosted in Hong Kong’s Kowloon City, are set to make a splash in a new venue – a basketball court.

This change came hot on the heels of last year’s arrests of three individuals for dousing police officers and reporters at the event.

Kowloon City district officer Alice Choi Man-kwan disclosed that participants keen on joining the revelry next Saturday and Sunday must register beforehand, with participant numbers being capped.

“Water-splashing for Songkran, the Thai New Year will now take place at Carpenter Road Park basketball courts instead of the traditional South Wall Road.”

This decision hasn’t sat well with some local restaurant proprietors accustomed to the old venue.

Thai envoy Chaturont Chaiyakam acknowledged the desire of some to uphold tradition but appealed for understanding, citing cultural differences. The shift aims to ensure a carefree celebration after concerns were raised following last year’s incidents.

Choi reassured that the new venue would offer ample space for a safer and more enjoyable experience for residents. Yet, the change hasn’t been embraced by all, with restaurant owners lamenting potential business downturns.

Wong, owner of Thai Fat Restaurant, expressed disappointment, highlighting the significance of the festival for local businesses. Similarly, Jem from Phoowong Thai Food restaurant voiced concerns over the uncertainty of this year’s festivities on their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the three individuals arrested last year maintain their innocence, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for April 18, reported Bangkok Post.

Additionally, the D2 Place shopping centre in Lai Chi Kok aims to capitalise on the occasion by hosting water fights in the lead-up to Songkran, seeking to attract customers amidst the festival fervour.

ORIGINAL STORY: Hong Kong Kowloon City to host Songkran festivities and more to boost tourism

Hong Kong’s District Councils are on a mission to rejuvenate the city’s allure, unveiling a host of creative proposals to entice locals and tourists alike.

Kowloon City District Council is taking the lead with an electrifying idea – the Kowloon City Thai Vibes with food and water-splashing carnival. Aimed at celebrating the Thai New Year, Songkran, the festivities promise an immersive experience with song and dance performances and Muay Thai competitions.

Kowloon City South District Councillor Jacky Lee emphasised the inclusivity of the planned activities.

“We want to attract not just locals but people from across Hong Kong and tourists.”

Adding a futuristic touch, LED neon light installations are set to illuminate various districts. Kowloon City’s proposal includes captivating 3D paintings of a plane taking off from the old Kai Tak Airport, strategically placed outside the Kai Tak MTR station. Meanwhile, Yau Tsim Mong District Council is gearing up for the Night Vibes Tsim Sha Tsui campaign, featuring luminous dragon dances and street performances to boost district spending.

The ambitious plans extend to Sha Tin, where inflatable installations along the Shing Mun River are estimated to cost 800,000 Hong Kong dollars (approximately 3.5 million baht). Central and Western District Council aims to spend 750,000 to 800,000 Hong Kong dollars on setting up photo spots, including the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex.

The Peak might soon boast signs proclaiming Hello Hong Kong and I love HK, a symbolic gesture signalling the return to normalcy, as suggested by Councillor Jeremy Young, reported HKFP.

In a move highlighting community involvement, Sai Kung District Council proposes a unique cat mural. Councillor Christine Fong encourages residents to submit photos of their feline friends, envisioning the mural as a way to foster a great sense of belonging to the community. Meanwhile, Sham Shui Po plans to enhance its atmosphere as a consumer tech hotspot with a proposed lightsabre activity.

China NewsSongkran NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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