The announcement came this week, following confirmation that water play will be allowed at the official government celebrations in Phuket Town, where a special zone will be set up on Dibuk Rd, where some 30,000 people are expected to take part.
Enthusiastic revellers on Bangla Rd last year caused a stir, launching into water fights with verve on the night of Apr 12, akin to ‘Songkran Eve’, much to the consternation of officials in Bangkok.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to take action. By late afternoon on Songkran day last year, law-enforcement were on the popular nightlife street to prevent any further water play. However, smaller, slightly restrained water fights did continue, albeit with smaller water guns. No large buckets were allowed.
This year, Patong traditional celebrations began with a merit-making ceremony featuring 199 monks on the morning of Apr 13. Then, under the banner “Songkran this year. Don’t forget to splash water @ Patong”, Patong Municipality got the party started at Bangla Plaza with a DJ at 10am, playing through to 3pm. The rest of the town was left to celebrate in the fashion it usually does.
In addition to the hundreds, if not thousands, of privately held Songkran celebrations being held across the island over Songkran, local municipalities in each subdistrict will be holding their own festivities.
Karon Municipality will begin its traditional activities with Songkran ablutions performed at Wat Kitti Sangkharam (Wat Kata) early on Apr 13, followed by a parade of a Phra Buddha Sihing statue followed by pouring scented water on the hands of revered elders for blessings. In the evening, ‘Karon Night Songkran 2023’ provided the entertainment with a water tunnel, foam party and EDM DJs at Nong Harn lagoon until late into the night.
Local municipalities in other key areas across the island, including Chalong, Cherng Talay, Rawai and Kamala, all the way north along the west coast to Nai Yang, will hold their own festivities.
With Songkran festivities in full flight across the country this year, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that an estimated B18 billion in tourism-generated revenue was expected from Songkran events held across the country..
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