Push for drink-free Songkran

Push for drink-free Songkran

Ministry of Justice urges parties to remain calm.

Push for drink-free Songkran
Last year, a group of individuals posed for photos on Khao San Road with flour in their hands ready to stain it on revelers ‘ eyes. ( Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut )

In order to protect public health, the Ministry of Public Health and wellness campaigning organizations are calling for the future Songkran to be observed with no alcohol.

They claim that the festival, which will take place April 13 through April 16, will be safer for everyone without alcohol and that the water-spinning fun should n’t involve getting drunk.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation ( ThaiHealth ), 88 % of foreign tourists would be happy if alcohol was prohibited from drinking during the Songkran celebrations.

Moreover, 75 % of respondents, including international nationals, expressed their support for an liquor- free Songkran action, said Dr Pairoj Sanuam, assistant director of ThaiHealth. The opinion surveys surveyed 939 Thai and 400 international responders across 18 regions.

According to Dr. Pairoj, 89 % of respondents think banning drinking will reduce accidents revolving around Songkran event venues, where the sale of alcohol and drinking is prohibited.

In addition, 89 % say an drinking restrictions at Songkran celebrations will reduce liquor- fueled violence, while 85 % believe the ban will reduce intercourse- related acts as well, he said.

The Songkran waters splashing areas where alcohol is prohibited have proven to be safer for revelers and bring more visitors, he said.

But, Wisanu Srithawong, chairman of the Social Power Network Foundation, noted that shut to 1, 000 Songkran waters- splashing events global in the past were held without drinking.

The Public Health Ministry is encouraging provinces to set up alcohol-free celebration areas this year in light of Unesco’s listing of Songkran as a world cultural heritage item, according to Dr. Niphon Chinanonwet, the head of the ministry’s alcoholic beverages control committee.

In addition, the Immigration Bureau announced that it would employ more immigration officers in order to handle the anticipated rise in foreign arrivals at Phuket and Suvarnabhumi airports.

During the Songkran holiday season, at least 25 flights take off and land at the airports per hour, according to estimates of 120, 000 passengers per day.