Although there will be no water splashing during the Songkran holiday this year, people can take part in other activities to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. At Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram temple in Bangkok, people can make merit and take part in many activities under New Normal conditions.
Phra Buddha Saiyas is the famous statue of the reclining Buddha in Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram temple. It is also the largest reclining Buddha statue in Bangkok. According to traditional beliefs, paying homage to the statue will bring peace and happiness, and people in their 30s who wish for true love before the statue will likely find their soulmate.
The temple has implemented public health measures by setting up screening points and providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Visitors are required to have their body temperature checked, register themselves and wear protective masks at all times. Some visitors say they are concerned about the current COVID-19 situation, but they want to make merit to seek a better life. To ensure safety, they wear face masks, use alcohol gel and practice social distancing.
During this Songkran holiday, Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram temple is recreating a beautiful traditional Thai atmosphere, encouraging visitors to remember old Songkran traditions. They learn how to make traditional Thai desserts and get to taste them. They can also visit booths set up by the Astrological Association of Thailand to check their horoscopes. Temple visitors are able to experience and enjoy a traditional Thai atmosphere during Songkran.
Members of the public can also take part in Songkran festivities at Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram temple until April 15. They are advised to follow the New Normal health and safety protocols, as recommended by the Ministry of Public Health.