This Songkran will be like no other in living memory (as was last year’s, when we didn’t have one at all).
The government has issued the rules and regulations for this coming Songkran holiday, asking the public to focus on the cultural aspects of the festival and keeping safety in mind.
All gatherings of people to throw water, put water on vehicles, have foam or paint splashing parties are banned. Any kind of dancing activity or concerts are similarly banned as are any parades or festivities unless they are organised by local authorities and adhere to strict Covid-19 precautions.
Any restaurants or bars wishing to set up activities must receive permission from authorities prior to the holidays.
All religious and cultural activities such as sprinkling water on Buddha statues and pouring water onto the elderly to asking for blessings, must also adhere to strict safety precautions.’
Chiang Mai, however, will also be celebrating the 725th year since it was founded by King Mengrai. In honour of this milestone as well as the traditional New Year festival, there will be activities at Wat Phra Singh where the public may sprinkle water on a Buddha statue; if not each other. There will also be activities at the Three Kings Monument, since one of the kings is Menrai. The municipality will also hold religious ceremony at its office and of course the traditional Women Riding Bicycle parade at Tha Pae Gate will return, having only skipped one year since it started in 1976.
If you are interested in the rich history of Chiang Mai, explore Citylife Chiang Mai’s history section here where a collection of articles and stories about a variety of aspects of our city and province’s history can be found.