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Bangkok calls for more sober Songkran

Bangkok will see a less rowdy Songkran festival this year in deference to the year-long mourning period for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority issued major don'ts for the three-day Thai New Year celebrations from April 13 to 15 - no powder, no water guns, no sexy dress and no alcohol.

This means the celebrations in the backpacker district of Khao San Road this year will not feature the usual wild watergun fights, scantily clad tourists and powder-pasted faces.

CONSERVATIVE

Mr Supakrit Boonkhan, district chief for Phra Nakhon, which has jurisdiction over Khao San, said: "This year's Songkran will be on the conservative side, in line with the original tradition.

"We will not allow dancing, loud music playing or stage performances of any kind in public places."

Business operators are instead advised to celebrate in the traditional way, by making offerings at temples, pouring water on Buddha images and splashing water - a ritual believed to wash away bad luck. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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