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This year Thailand gets 6 days to celebrate Songkran holiday

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This year Thailand gets 6 days to celebrate Songkran holiday | Thaiger

The Thai new year of Songkran is being extended to 6 days of water fights according to the Cabinet after approving the holiday to run from April 10 to 15. Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome says details of the holiday will be sent to the Centre For Covid-19 Situation Administration for approval as he says Songkran participants will probably be allowed to take part in the water fight activities after daily reported Covid cases in the Kingdom have dropped to double-digits.

The culture minister says there is talk of setting up so-called “water play” areas that would allow the water fights and splashes to go on with a Covid-19 check-in at the entrance. The Pattaya News says face shields, goggles and raincoats could be required in the splash zones, but the idea is still being discussed.

The “water play” zones are likely to be set up in areas with major events with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha noting that people will need to abide by social distancing rules during the festival.

Itthiphol said the government is paying more attention to the number of people at event venues, and will find a balance between helping the economy and the prevention of new clusters of Covid-19 which could spread the disease in communities.

Late last year, the Thai Cabinet added 8 holidays to the 2021 calendar, including an extra day for Songkran. The move was part of an effort to promote domestic tourism and stimulate the economy which was battered by the pandemic.

A government spokesperson confirmed the additional holidays with the Associated Press. The Cabinet set 4 national holidays and 4 regional holidays detailed below:

  • Friday, February 12 for the Chinese New Year
  • Monday, April 12, adding a day to Songkran holiday from April 13-15
  • Tuesday, July 27 for substitution day for Buddhist Lent
  • Friday, September 24 to celebrate Mahidol Day which is in remembrance of Prince of Songkhla, Mahidol Adulyadej

Regional holidays

  • Friday, March 26 for Wai Phra That (Northern Thailand)
  • Monday, May 10 for Bun Bang Fai, known as the Rocket Festival (Northeastern Thailand)
  • Wednesday, October 6 for Sart Thai, a festival held on the 10th lunar month (Southern Thailand)
  • Thursday, October 21 for the End of Buddhist Lent (Central Thailand)

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Craig

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Ugh. Now I have to avoid the crowds for even more days. Songkran was fun the 1st time.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Amazing that reporters seem completely unaware that Songkran is the time when Thais return to their home provinces to see their families, so the extended Songkran holiday will mean mass travel as much as it will “water fights”.

    On second thoughts, not really amazing at all …

  3. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 3:45 am

    It does not concern you IJ, your inside 24/7. Your just having your normal day. Leave the young Thai people alone. You just hate people having fun. Your in the wrong country IJ. Go back home.

  4. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Avoiding like the plague.

    “culture”

  5. Avatar

    Steven C

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Most people know Songkran is a time when Thais return to their home provinces, mass travel is the obvious knock on effect. And the point is……..?

  6. Avatar

    Buster Hymen

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Extend the killing period on the roads, that’s brilliant thinking once again. Its no wonder Thailand leads the world in deaths from autos/motorbikes. About the only positive from this is without the foreign tourists you won’t have to put up with their stupidity as they try to be Thai like in celebrating Songkran.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    FWIW, BH, the holiday is obviously effectively from Saturday 10 April to Sunday 18 April inclusive, so nine “dangerous days” rather than the normal seven.

    While it may not reduce the death toll, that may reduce some of the jams as some people may not need to travel after work on Friday returning late on Sunday / early Monday.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Songkran

Songkran activities cancelled in Ayutthaya due to Covid-19

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Songkran activities cancelled in Ayutthaya due to Covid-19 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Ayutthaya traditionally has elaborate Songkran celebrations

After the recent outbreak of Covid-19 across Thailand, in a large part due to entertainment activities, Thailand’s former capital city of Ayutthaya has now officially cancelled all Songkran festival activities for the upcoming holiday. All events previously planned to mark the Thai New Year’s holiday between April 13 and 15 have now been called off. An urgent declaration by the provincial governor today informed the public of the decision. Many people across the country are cancelling Songkran events or any observance of the holiday at all.

The decision by the province’s Songkran committee and the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Ayutthaya office was directed especially at tourists who may be planning to travel to the area for traditional festivities. Complex and ornate events had been planned, scheduled to be held on Si Sanphet road, with the sudden cancellation announcement abruptly ending the preparations for holiday merriment.

TAT and the local government agreed that the cancellation was necessary to prevent the possible spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in light of the current outbreak across Thailand. In Ayutthaya, 86 people have been infected with 21 new cases diagnosed yesterday. In an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, the Ayutthaya Hospital issued a statement limiting visits for hospital patients. The hospital encourages people to do video calls with their relatives as the hospital will only allow one relative to spend time with each patient. This overall situation led to the official decision to call off all Songkran festivities.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Songkran

Many Thais ‘skipping’ Songkran due to the recent clusters

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Many Thais ‘skipping’ Songkran due to the recent clusters | Thaiger
PHOTO: A more traditional Songkran is preferred this year - Wikipedia

It’s Songkran, but not as we know it. This weekend Thais start to head back home for this year’s extended national holiday. Last year the celebrations were cancelled altogether, amid Thailand’s initial lockdowns. So this year, partly aided by the mid week dates of Songkran, the government added extra days, that are topped and tailed by weekends. So, many Thais have fernangled a 10 day break, or even longer, this year.

But this year’s Songkran was already hobbled by a risk-averse government that banned water splashing, banned Songkran events and parties and urged people to continue to take precautions during the holiday. So it was going to be a more traditional, and less overly festive, Songkran this year.

That was until recent weeks when small clusters broke out, focussed around Bangkok’s nightlife venues. The quick spread of what Thai virologists confirmed as the more contagious B117 variant, aka. UK variant, of Covid-19 from these venues, suddenly made the 2021 Songkran a potential super-spreader event. Songkran is the busiest time for Thais to travel each year.

A recent Suan Dusit poll shows that 43.9% say they won’t get involved in local Songkran activities this year, or aren’t certain. 1,324 people were surveyed between April 3 – April 9 in the poll.

In other responses, 64.8% say they would perform the traditional Songkran ceremony for senior in their family, 63.3% say they will stay home and spend the time with their family; 53.7% will make merit by giving alms to monks; 52.5% would wash their own Buddha statues, 37.6% will observe Thai traditions, according to Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Suan Dusit Poll | Bangkok Post

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Songkran

Songkran fully cancelled in Bangkok amid Covid-19 outbreaks

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Songkran fully cancelled in Bangkok amid Covid-19 outbreaks | Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr fabulousfabs

All Songkran festival activities throughout every district of the Bangkok province have been officially cancelled to prevent more outbreaks of Covid-19. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced this difficult decision today in light of a rise in Coronavirus infection clusters around the country. Many of these outbreaks have been directly linked to entertainment venues, nightclubs and bars, including in Bangkok’s Thong Lor and Ekkamai areas. These venues are easy targets for Covid-19 spread as they often don’t follow mask-wearing and social distancing measures, and many are poorly ventilated, making a fertile breeding ground for transmission.

Deputy Governor Kriangyos Sudlabha announced the closure of all entertainment venues on Bangkok nightlife hub Khaosan Road before Songkran from April 7 to 12. Free Covid-19 testing will also be provided to all merchants in the Khaosan area.

“The Songkran activities at Lan Khon Meuang Plaza in Phra Nakhon district will be cancelled. These include an alms-giving ceremony and pouring water on the Buddha image and elders as blessings. Furthermore, activities scheduled to be held in other districts by the district office will also be cancelled. As for public and private organisations which cannot cancel their planned Songkran festivities, the BMA urges them to employ strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Iconic massive public Songkran water fights in Bangkok and throughout Thailand, where thousands usually fill the streets and joyously spray each other with water to celebrate, are definitely out. But the new announcement curbs a lot of more traditional and calm activities from taking place in large public gathering areas. The deputy governor advises for traditional ceremonies to be performed at home, rather than at temples or public locations.

“During the Songkran festival, we advise people to perform the ceremony of pouring water on Buddha images and elders at home and avoid going out to crowded areas. If you have to travel, make sure to wear a face mask at all times, maintain at least a one-metre distance from others and wash your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser.”

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

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