Bangkok to impose curfew during Songkran festival, the world’s biggest water festival

Mar 18, 2016 09:26 IST

Songkran festival: World's biggest water fight festival marking Thai New Year

Songkran festival, often referred to as the world's biggest water fight festival, was in news in the third week of March 2016. The festival came in news after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration decided to impose a curfew during the festival season that will be celebrated in April 2016.

The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15 April. The word "Songkran" comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti literally "astrological passage", meaning transformation or change.

It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart, the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.

Why the curfew was imposed?

The curfew was imposed to show solidarity with farmers hit by drought. In form of solution, the Bangkok authority cut festival days down from four to three and imposed a curfew.

At present, Thailand is facing its worst water shortage in two decades, with 14 out of 76 provinces hit and large swathes of agricultural land at risk.

Thailand has entered its annual dry season, which typically runs from March to May, meaning the drought is likely to get worse.

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