Songkran Festival

Thailand Celebrates Songkran Festival 2021 in New Normal

Thailand’s most famous festival, Songkran Festival, is a water festival that marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Despite the pandemic, the festival will be celebrated in 2021.

The celebrations will be in line with the traditional aspects of the festival and the new normal practice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hosting the Amazing Songkran Festival 2021 in Bangkok as well as supporting unique festivities in seven destinations – Ayutthaya, Buri Ram, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Lampang, Nong Khai, and Sukhothai.

Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has given the green light for this year’s Songkran to be held nationwide as a ‘new normal’ festival with the focus on the traditional and cultural aspects of the celebration, while strictly adhering to the nationwide public health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

TAT will host the Amazing Songkran Festival 2021 in Bangkok from 13-15 April in the area around the Airport Rail Link Makkasan Station. As well as showcasing the traditional aspects of Songkran in various destinations across Thailand, the event will present rare and traditional Thai food, snacks and desserts; local arts and handicrafts; and cultural performances; such as, Khon masked dance, Nang Yai shadow puppet show, Thai string puppet show, and contemporary music performances.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “TAT’s Amazing Songkran Festival 2021 in Bangkok will focus on three key aspects – public health, tradition and value for money – by highlighting local traditions and customs in combination with the public health measures. Visitors are encouraged to wear traditional Thai costume or fabric, or colourful floral print shirts unique to Songkran to attend the event.”

TAT is also supporting the hosting of unique Songkran festivities in seven destinations across the country, including Songkran in the Ancient Capital City, Ayutthaya; Amazing Songkran Buri Ram presented by Chang; Paweni Pi Mai Mueang Chiang Mai; Khon Kaen Songkran Festival; Salung Luang Songkran Festival, Lampang; Maha Songkran Isan, Nong Khai, and Maha Songkran, Sukhothai.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced its COVID-19 control guidelines for Songkran 2021 festivities, from 10-15 April. 

For this year’s Songkran, the BMA allows all traditional activities to be held as usual. These include religious practices and ceremonies; such as, sprinkling water on Buddha statues and pouring water onto the elderly’s palms to ask for their blessings.

The BMA bans all activities that may attract large gathering of people; such as, water splashing, concerts, or any activities involving close contact between people; such as, powder smearing and foam parties.

Any traditional activities with more than 300 participants must submit a proposal seeking advance approval from the local communicable disease control office.

Any events beyond traditional activities; such as, fairs and banquets with more than 100 participants, which must only be held in outdoor event spaces, must also seek advance approval.

Residents of Bangkok are also advised to avoid parties and gatherings among people from different areas, as well as to refrain from sharing a meal for a long period of time.

Violators will be subject to a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to 40,000 Baht, or both, in accordance with Section 18 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005).

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