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Songkran 2017 Kicks Off Nationwide

Bangkok, Fri Apr 14 2017
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The 2017 Songkran festival officially kicked off nationwide yesterday with Thai Buddhists going to the temples early in the morning making merit, offering alms to monks, and pouring water on Buddha statutes brought out for prays and blessings on this Thai traditional New Year.

In Bangkok, the governor Pol Gen Asawin Kwanmuang led his city administration officials to preside over a religious ceremony to offer alms to 191 monks at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration head office.

Yesterday was also the National Elderly Day, the governor led officials to pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and to ask for their blessings.

At noon water splashing officially began at various places in Bangkok, including Khao San, Silom, Central World, and City Avenue in Rama 9 road. Silom District will closed a 850m section of Silom road to traffic from Sala Daeng to Naralom intersections to allow people to enjoy water-splashing until April 15.

Songkran revellers have however been advised not to drink alcohol and not to use talcum powder or high-pressure water guns. No entertainment activities on stages are organised this year as the is still mourning the passing of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

According to the Bangkok Post, businesses in the area had said earlier they would cooperate by not allowing stages to be set up in front of their premises, shows or other activities unsuitable for the mourning period.

Checkpoints have been set up around the venue and water trucks and vehicles with loud music will not be allowed to enter Silom road. According to the BMA, similar rules also are applied to other famous venues for the water festival including Khao San road. Khao San business operators held a merit making ceremony by offering alms to monks.

Authorities earlier said revellers are allowed only two days for Songkran water celebration on Khao San road, unlike at Central World, where revellers can expect a three-day carnival-style event, “M2F Presents Bangkok Songkran Festival 2017”, including amusement park rides and game booths, a cultural show and mini concert.

Elsewhere in the provinces, Songkran in Chiang Mai has started too with most of the business area decorated with Lanna-style flags welcoming the festival.

In Khon Kaen, the Songkran festival on Khao Niaw Road (Sri Chan Road) will run until Saturday.

In Hat Yai, the whole southern town has turned lively as locals joined hundreds of thousands of tourists from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and China to splash water but under tight security screening all vehicles entering the town from other trouble-plagued provinces.

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