Revellers enjoy the Songkran festival at CentralWorld shopping centre on Thursday. (Post Today photo)
People throughout the country, from Bangkok to the violence-prone southern region, the highlands of the North and rice fields of Isan, celebrated the traditional New Year on Thursday.
They started the Songkran festival by making merit at temples, before delighting in water splashing later in the day.
A highlight in Bangkok was the public square at City Hall near the Giant Swing, where residents flocked to to pay respects to the highly venerated Phra Buddha Sihing statue and offer alms to 191 monks.
A similar pattern was repeated in all 76 other provinces.
In Narathiwat, all communities in the municipality joined in a parade through the town streets to the Phra Thaksin Mingmongkol statue, where they paid respect.
In Yala, at least 1,000 people travelled to famous Wat Kuhapimuk in Muang district, marking the start of Songkran in the southern province.
Elephants at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal joined supplicants in offering food to 599 monks at Wat Phra Mongkhon Bopit in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district.
Revelry was high and merymakers wet at Khao San, Silom and CentralWord shopping centre in Bangkok.
Alcoholic beverages, long associated with the international and Thai new year celebrations, were off limits at many areas where people gathered, including CentralWorld in Bangkok, and venues in Khon Kaen and Narathiwat. Alcohol-free zones have been designated, to prove people can have fun without it.
“Songkran without alcohol is safe and can still be great fun for all,” Thai Health Promotion Foundation manager Supreeda Adulyanon said when kicking off the celebration at CentralWorld, which was organised by M2F, the free weekday paper of Post Publishing Plc.
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