Published on : Friday, April 9, 2021
Thailand’s Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul recently announced that people would be allowed to during the Thailand Songkran holiday to other provinces without having to go into mandatory quarantine on arrival at their destination. Songkran is the festival of Thai New Year and is a national holiday that happens on April 13 every year, with the holiday period extends from April 12-16.
Although provinces across the country have been divided into zones, designated by colors according to the infection rates, none would be locked down during the festival. However, it was also mentioned that individuals who are found infected with the virus or were considered at high risk would still be quarantined. Minister Anutin also asked people to remain alert and careful, and not be too fun-loving and said that it was clearly evident the virus spread among groups of people visiting entertainment venues and hence everyone should avoid large gatherings.
Songkran is usually celebrated with the famous ritual of throwing of water and cleaning images of Buddha. The tradition originated from spring cleaning aspect of the holiday where the blessed water from the cleaned the Buddha images is used to soak other people and seen as a way of paying respect and bringing good fortune. During the festival residents walk the streets having water fights using containers of water or water guns or stand at the side of roads with a hose and soak anyone who passes by. Visitors may also get covered in chalk, a custom originating from the chalk used by monks to mark blessings.