Songkran water splashing starts at new location - RTHK
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Songkran water splashing starts at new location

2024-04-13 HKT 17:10
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  • Songkran water splashing starts at new location
Moving the Songkran Festival's water-splashing element from a traditional site to nearby basketball courts in Kowloon City is part of a bid to expand of the scale of the Thai New Year celebrations, home and youth affairs minister Alice Mak said on Saturday.

Celebrations marking the Thai New Year are taking place from Friday to Sunday in Hong Kong's "Little Thailand" with water-splashing sessions open to the public on the weekend.

For the first time, the iconic water fight, however, is now being held at Carpenter Road Park Basketball Court instead of the usual South Wall Road.

A participant surnamed So, who's taking part in water-splashing for the second year, said he preferred the previous location.

"South Wall Road is more lively and more crowded, and the venue here is a bit smaller with fewer people... There were at least two-thirds more participants last year, as the whole street was filled with people," he said. "If there's still this event next year, I hope it's held on South Wall Road."

But a business owner in Kowloon City believed the new arrangement could attract more shoppers to South Wall Road:

"Last year, people were mainly focused on water splashing and not shopping, so business was slightly affected," he said.

"I think this year's arrangements are very good. It allows shops to do business and people to go shopping. It is also safer, and no one will complain and say they got drenched when coming out to buy something."

Mak said the change allows organisers to hold festivities on a larger scale and let more people enjoy the fun in the tradition of Hong Kong's Thai community.

"We have extended the stalls from not only in this playground, but South Wall Road," Mak said.

Three men were charged with assault for allegedly firing water at police officers and the media at last year's festival. But the minister said she did not believe the fun and games this time would call for law enforcement action.

The practice of pouring water during Songkran – a tradition to symbolise cleansing and reverence at new year – has evolved into huge water fights that leave participants soaked.

Songkran water splashing starts at new location