The Pattaya Watchdog Facebook page has urged people to be more mindful about splashing water on others during the upcoming Songkran Festival, citing not everyone wants to get wet.
PattayaWatchdog said in a Facebook post on March 22nd that people should focus more on the cultural side of Songkran which not only includes water playing and parties but also making merit, visiting temples, cleaning their homes, and visiting and respecting the elderly.
They said during the last full Songkran in 2019, many people set up water containers on Beach Road in front of bars and caused inconvenience to some people who had to go to work by splashing water on them. “These tricksters looked as if they were having fun in ruining other people’s day,” the page said.
Songkran was entirely canceled in 2020 and only traditional activities were allowed in 2021 and 2022 with all festivals, parties, concerts, and water splashing banned. This year, however, with the Covid-19 pandemic receded, authorities have said the so-called “fun” parts of Songkran will be allowed once more.
As for foreigners, the page went on to say that many have misinterpreted the meaning of Songkran and only focused on water splashing, drinking, and partying. Some tourists prepared water tanks on their buildings and sprayed water on passersby on the street and laughed as if it was funny.
These people were acting in a mischievous and potentially harmful way, especially if those who got splashed at were driving. Their vehicle could slip on water and crash, the page warned.
“Songkran incorporates pouring water on the hands of respected elders not throwing water at each other for fun. It is a tradition that demonstrates respect and is not meant to create conflict,” PattayaWatchdog stated.
Responses to the post were mixed, notes TPN media, with many doubting anyone would follow the request and others saying that after three long years of Songkran bans people needed the chance to let loose. Many also agreed and suggested everything from outright bans on water throwing everywhere to water zones or a one day only of play, on the 19th. However, many also admitted it would be nearly impossible to enforce properly.
Pattaya City has not responded to the post and it seems unlikely based on the amount of tourism dollars the event generates that any suggestions to have a traditional only Songkran would be taken seriously.
Join the discussion in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/438849630140035/or in the comments below.