Authorities issue 4 ‘iron rules’ of Songkran amid nudity concerns
Thai authorities have issued four “iron rules” for Songkran revellers in a bid to prevent celebrations from getting out of hand this week.
Water fights and splashing to mark the traditional New Year returned in full force on Thursday after three years of muted celebrations under Covid-19 restrictions.
Scenes of scantily clad partygoers baring all in raucous water battles trigger an annual outpouring of concern among conservative Thais and authorities.
Amid fears that Songkran parties could be especially unruly this week as restrictions are lifted for the first time in four years, authorities have declared four strict rules for Thais and foreigners joining the celebrations.
The four iron rules are:
- No nudity
- No going half-naked
- No face-daubing powder
- No high-pressure water guns
Over 300,00 foreign tourists are expected to swell the crowds of Songkran revellers in Bangkok and other tourism provinces. The capital has designated a total of 198 areas for New Year celebrations. Organised events will feature traditional Thai New Year activities such as sprinkling water over Buddha images, as well as parties, live music and water splashing.
The four rules will be tested to breaking point at Bangkok’s Khao San Road, home to some of Thailand’s most raucous Songkran celebrations in previous years.
Around 40,000 Thai and foreign revellers joined the water fight in the backpacking hub on Thursday, the first day of Songkran.
Police temporarily blocked entry to partygoers at around 8pm after deciding Khao San was at risk of becoming dangerously overcrowded.
Local businesses expect to see 30,000 to 40,000 Thais and foreigners per day visit the street over the Songkran holiday.
Partygoers will be back at the Khao San Songkran celebrations today and tomorrow.